Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player's Conference Finals performance

How did every Indiana Pacer perform in the team's Conference Finals loss against Boston?
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four
Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers - Game Four / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Andrew Nembhard

Stats: 4 Games, 34.7 MPG, 21 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 7.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG, 1.8 TOV, 2.5 FPG 54.1/47.6/88.9 Splits on 64.7% TS

This is probably what all of you have been waiting for.

Already surprising fans and players alike with his performance in the first two rounds, including one of the greatest shots in Indiana Pacers history to win them Game 3 against the New York Knicks, hopes were high for Andrew Nembhard to continue his hot stream going into the Conference Finals. With Nembhard establishing himself as a legitimate offensive option and a problem against high-scoring guards defensively, the Pacers were expecting big things.

For the first two games, Nembhard played well. 12 points in Game 1 and 16 in Game 2, shooting 50% from the field in both games is very impressive. It was because of this that Nembhard was trusted to take over starting point guard duties in the next two games due to Tyrese Haliburton's injury.

While plenty of people were clamoring for Nembhard to keep his spot at shooting guard and T.J. McConnell to slide into the starting point guard spot, Indiana thought otherwise and moved Nembhard to the 1 going forward.

What followed could not have been predicted by even the most optimistic Pacers fans. For three days, Andrew Nembhard Mania swept the NBA world as he lit the Celtics up in Games 3 and 4. To start, Nembhard scored 32 points on 12/21 shooting and dished out nine assists in Game 3.

Despite losing the ball in the final seconds on a 1-on-3 fast break, Nembhard was the main reason why Indiana was in the game in the first place, as the Boston defense did not have an answer for him. Nembhard's aggressiveness both inside and outside was exactly what Indiana needed with Tyrese Haliburton out, as he took every shot the Boston defense gave him and even made some new ones.

After the tragic ending to Game 3 and Nembhard being rather hard on himself in the aftermath, there was little hope that he could have another fantastic performance. To everyone, that Game 3 performance seemed like an outlier.

However, Nembhard did not take no for an answer and came back strong in Game 4, scoring 24 points on 10/18 shooting and 3/6 from deep and dished out 10 assists. Once again, Nembhard diced up the Boston defense something fierce and created good shots out of nothing. Despite both performances ending in losses, Indiana will not forget about Andrew Nembhard's attempted hijacking of Boston's title hopes.

If anything, Indiana should take this opportunity to extend Nembhard as soon as possible. It is only a matter of time before he becomes a free agent and plenty of teams will have interest in him as a starting point guard. Nembhard becomes eligible for an extension this year, and it is in Indiana's best interest to lock him up long-term if this series or playoffs as a whole are anything to go by.

Final Grade: A++ (Breakout series, might have played himself above what Indiana can pay him)