Positive: Good production from youngsters in garbage time
You know what they say: Every cloud has a silver lining. That was true tonight, as despite not tying or taking the lead at any point, the Pacers still saw good production from the end of their bench, most notably from Jordan Nwora.
Despite the majority of the team not shooting well, Nwora played fantastic in the 23 minutes of garbage time he got, leading all Pacers with 19 points on 8/11 shooting and 2/5 from beyond the arc.
While he hasn't gotten much time this season, only playing in three games prior to tonight and logging 36 minutes, all garbage time, Nwora is still a very talented scorer, which he showcased the prior season, averaging 13 points in the 24 games he played with the Pacers after the deadline.
In fact, Nwora was one of five Pacers to have a positive plus/minus on the night, with his +18 being the second-highest of the game, behind Ben Sheppard's +25. Every Pacer on the night to have a positive plus/minus came off the bench, with the second unit putting up a decent fight to try and claw back into the game. In fact, the Pacers even outscored the Magic in the second half 72-60 and scored 38 points in the fourth quarter to the Magic's 21.
The rookies also got some playing time, which was uncharacteristic of Rick Carlisle. Unfortunately, that playing time came a bit too late, as the Pacers were already down 53-25 when Walker checked in during the second quarter, and his minutes were still very inconsistent despite the game already being out of reach and the Pacers having no reason to sit him.
Walker only played 14 minutes on the night despite deserving more and displayed some great traits that could help the Pacers going forward if given more playing time.
Despite only playing garbage time, Walker showed some fantastic flashes of the player he could be if put in the rotation and certainly made his case to Rick Carlisle as to why he should get non-garbage time minutes going forward. Who knows if Carlisle will take not and put Walker in the rotation come Tuesday, but Walker did more than his fair share to put his name in the running.