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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Obi Toppin

Stats: 82 Games, 21.1 MPG, 10.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.5 BPG, 0.8 TOV, 1.7 FPG 57.3/40.3/77 Splits on 67.7% TS

Man, talk about consistency.

If you're grading players by overall performance, Obi Toppin has to be near the top of the list. When he was traded to Indiana, Toppin was thought of as a welcome addition to a young team that would benefit greatly from the playmaking of Tyrese Haliburton, possibly even making a Most Improved Player run along the way. In a way, he has somewhat exceeded those expectations since.

After starting 27 of the first 28 games and averaging 12 points on near-60% from the field, Toppin was benched in favor of Jalen Smith during his hot streak. While many would take this as a demotion and complain to the media and coaches, Toppin did not do any of this. Despite only starting one more game for the rest of the season, Toppin put his head down and played some of the most efficient basketball in Indiana Pacers history.

This is not a stretch by any means. In the 2023-24 season, Toppin ranked near the top of the league in basically every efficiency category. Most notably, he ranked 12th in field goal percentage with a 57.3% clip, shot 40.3% from deep, good for second best on the team, ranked second in the league in two-point percentage at 70.6%, second in effective field goal percentage at 72.5%, and third in true shooting with a 67.7% clip.

These stats tell a tale of one of the most reliable and efficient players in the league, as while Toppin did not post many outright spectacular scoring performances, he was still there whenever Indiana needed an open jumper or a bucket inside, as his thunderous dunks remained, making for plenty of highlight plays along the way.

Of course, Toppin's season was not perfect, as he struggled immensely on the defensive end, especially against certain high-scoring matchups and in a team setting. His defensive IQ also left a lot to be desired, as an ill-advised tip out of bounds in the final regulation seconds of a tough loss to Chicago led to a DeMar DeRozan buzzer-beater that sent the game into overtime, which the Pacers went on to lose.

However, he is still a good defensive matchup against certain players, as he played a big part in slowing Jimmy Butler down in the Miami Heat games, and while his 3.9 rebound average isn't the greatest for someone of his size, the Pacers still rebound better with him on the floor.

Overall, Obi Toppin has been a great addition to the Indiana Pacers. With Tyrese Haliburton's extension kicking in and Pascal Siakam's new deal being hashed out this offseason, Indiana needs to make it a priority to keep Toppin on board as well, as he fits in perfectly with this squad.

Final Grade: B+ (Beacon of consistency throughout)