Ever since their In-Season Tournament finals loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Indiana Pacers haven’t been able to find their footing. They’ve now lost three regular-season games in a row, with their latest being a defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Tyrese Haliburton was missing from the rotation, and the Timberwolves are currently the best team in the Western Conference, but it was still a rough 127-109 loss.
Indiana’s awful defense continues to be one of the biggest storylines of the season. For as great as Haliburton and their offense has been, they just can’t find any semblance of consistency because of the defense.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at two duds and one stud from the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves.
Dud - Buddy Hield
It’s been an ugly, ugly month for Buddy Hield, who took Bennedict Mathurin’s spot on the Pacers’ rotation after the second-year wing went through some early-season struggles.
Hield’s not a great perimeter defender, but he’s one of the best three-point shooters in the league. Unfortunately, his shot hasn’t been there, and without it, he’s not very effective.
Against the Timberwolves, Hield finished the game with zero points, one rebound, two assists, and three turnovers while shooting -of-4 from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc.
Mathurin hasn’t been amazing this year, but if Hield continues to struggle as much as he has, it feels as though the youngster could benefit from behind reinserted into the starting lineup.