Four aspects where Johnny Furphy can help the Pacers in the present and future

Indiana traded with San Antonio for the 35th pick and Johnny Furphy. Here's how Furphy can make an immediate or future impact in Indy.
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Defensive potential

The second focal point and easily the most important one for the Pacers is their sheer lack of defense. Indiana was a laughably bad defensive team for the first half of the season, and, while they picked it up after trading for Pascal Siakam and tightened up on defense when it mattered in the first two rounds of the playoffs, it always came back to haunt them and was still not up to par, especially in the Celtics series where they gave up multiple late-game runs en route to getting swept.

To tell you the truth, Johnny Furphy's defense is a work in progress. Despite his explosion, he can be a bit slow-footed and upright on defense, which leads to him getting beaten by quicker players quite a lot. Despite his high stamina, Furphy has rather slow feet in inbounds and while navigating screens, making him a mismatch on that end at times.

College teams consistently attacked him in space since he was very inconsistent when it came to containing drives. A lot of this has to do with his lack of lower body strength. He cannot get low enough in defensive positioning and move laterally with certain players.

He is not good at turning the corner and getting back into plays while navigating screens either. This is to say, that he is not a finished product on defense, and nowhere near that in fact. If anything, Johnny Furphy's defense may be considered the weakest part of his game, and easily the part where his young age and past injuries show.

However, that is not to say that Furphy is a lost cause on defense. Far from that, in fact. I would go as far as to say that Furphy has a very intriguing defensive upside, and can be a fantastic defender if he puts the work in. This is where his hustle and feel for the game will come in.

He is very active with his hands and was very good at picking his opponent's pockets by keeping his hands up high and striking when they least expected it, which led to him averaging almost a steal per game in college. His instinct of keeping his hands up also led to him getting some timely blocks due to players frequently underestimating him at the rim.

Furphy can also contribute with help defense, always being willing to help on a double-team and still keeping focus on his main defensive assignment. Additionally, his size gives him an advantage going for blocks, as he was taller than most of the swingmen he guarded in college.

This size and instinct led to him being a pest at times, forcing turnovers after stripping his opponents due to his high ball IQ. Furphy has shown some solid potential defending at the point of attack, in gaps, and at the rim, but he is not particularly exceptional at any of those spots just yet. His lower half development has allowed him to be more stable on closeouts and his lateral quickness is improving, but his defensive ceiling will rely a lot on his strength and foot speed.