Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player at season's end

With the playoffs on the way, now is a good time to give out end-of-season grades for every Pacers player.
Mar 16, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) celebrates with
Mar 16, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) celebrates with / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Andrew Nembhard

Stats: 68 Games, 25.0 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 1.5 TOV, 2.1 FPG 49.8/35.7/80.4 Splits on 57.3% TS

2022-23 Stats: 75 Games, 27.6 MPG, 9.5 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 1.7 TOV, 2.4 FPG 44.1/35/79 Splits on 52.8% TS

Andrew Nembhard's season can be broken down into two categories, his tenure as a bench player, and his run as a starter. Let's look at both.

In the first 18 games of the season, Nembhard was strictly a bench player, taking the role of backup point guard and only starting two games, both of which Tyrese Haliburton missed. In this stretch, Nembhard was rather up and down efficiency-wise, averaging close to seven points while shooting 46% from the field but an unimpressive 27% from deep and 67% from the free throw line. However, his defense and hustle kept him in games, as he was easily Indiana's second-best perimeter defender and their best guard defender.

In the final 50 games of the season, Nembhard's role and position changed. Initially put as the starting shooting guard, brought to point guard after Tyrese Haliburton's injury, then returned to shooting guard after his return, Nembhard's role became more defined and he benefited greatly, averaging 10 points on 51/38/83 splits in the final 50 games of the season, a night and day improvement over the first 18 games.

Nembhard's impressive play continued once Pascal Siakam was traded to Indiana, and along with Haliburton and Siakam, he was part of Indiana's go-to starting lineup for the second half of the season, which also included the aforementioned Nesmith and Turner.

With a second-half stretch like this, it is hard to not give Nembhard a good grade. In my first-half grades, I stated that his play was marred by inconsistency, but he made up for it with defense and playmaking. However, with his defense and playmaking remaining impressive, along with his efficiency and scoring going up, Nembhard is arguably the perfect two-guard next to Haliburton, as his defense and shooting ability are a perfect backcourt pairing with Haliburton's playmaking and scoring.

In the playoffs, Nembhard will be given the task of a lifetime, as he will be the man picked to guard Damian Lillard through the series. In the regular season, Nembhard did quite well on Lillard, so here's to hoping that trend continues and we get a great finish to his sophomore campaign.

Final Grade: B+ (Easily Indiana's backcourt starter, another playoff X-factor)