Pacers final month stock watch: 2 surprising risers and 1 faller

As we head into the final month of the season, it's time we take stock of who is playing well for the Pacers and who is not.

Mar 13, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) shoots the ball
Mar 13, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) shoots the ball / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next

2. Aaron Nesmith

When Aaron Nesmith got hurt right before the All-Star break, it didn't look that serious. Then he missed the first few games after the break and the Pacers' defense fell apart. They looked lost without not only his defense but his three-point shooting.

Now that he's back healthy and back in rhythm, he looks like he did before the injury. He's by far the best perimeter defender on this Indiana Pacers team. He guards the best guy on the other team every night. He shut down SGA, only allowing him to shoot 23% while he was guarding him.

Nesmith is also a top-five three-point shooter in the NBA. He's shooting over 44% from deep on almost five attempts per game. His efficiency opens up the floor for Pascal Siakam to do work in the post and for Tyrese Haliburton to drive-and-kick to him in the corner.

If the Pacers are going to do anything in the playoffs, Nesmith has to be at his best. When he's playing well, the Pacers typically win the game. His effort is also contagious on the defensive end. He's always working hard and doesn't take a single play off.

Indiana signed him to a three-year extension over the Summer. I'd say that was money well spent. He's found a really nice niche with the team and is a deserving starter for a good team. Personally, I think he needs to play more minutes with Bennedict Mathurin out for the year.

The last person we'll talk about has been struggling for quite a while.