Positive: Bennedict Mathurin is back
This was beautiful to see. After a pretty rough start to the season, which saw his playmaking improve plenty but at the expense of his scoring ability and defense, Bennedict Mathurin has seemed to finally put it all together in Wednesday's win over Utah.
On this night, Mathurin put up 22 points on 9/18 from the field and 4/7 from deep, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out four assists, and had two steals. This statline is far removed from what we have seen from him this season prior to the game, where he was only averaging 11 points on awful 40/23/80 splits.
Prior to the Jazz game, Mathurin was not getting as many shots as he would have liked, getting less than his rookie year when he primarily came off the bench and even playing fewer minutes as a starter than as a rookie when he was more of a sixth man.
However, everything seemed to click for the Montreal native on Wednesday, as Mathurin finally got a chance to play over 30 minutes for the first time in the season, playing a total of 38 minutes and getting the most shots on the team with 18.
As you can see, he clearly delivered and this performance has to feel good for him. As a young player still adjusting to the NBA life, Mathurin has to be confident in his abilities, and it is possible that this recent slump has affected his confidence to the point where he was getting in his own head.
On Wednesday, however, that confidence was on full display, as Mathurin not only pulled up from three at will but drove to the rim among the trees and finished with contact, despite not getting to the free throw line at all on the night, a rarity for a frequent foul drawer like him.
Regardless of the lack of free throws, a game like this is sure to do wonders for Mathurin's confidence going forward. Bennedict Mathurin has an All-Star ceiling, and Wednesday night was just him getting one step closer to realizing that.
He showed exactly why the Pacers drafted him, getting buckets and making it look easy with the confidence and skill he displayed during his rookie year while also showing the newfound playmaking and passing ability he has developed through the offseason. Mathurin made some clever reads that may not have all led to points, but they were nice to see him make anyway.
Hopefully we can look back at the Jazz game as the night Bennedict Mathurin turned it around and got out of his sophomore slump for good. Only time will tell.