Pacers Report Cards: Grading every Pacers player's first-round performance

How did every Indiana Pacer perform in the team's first playoff series win since 2014?
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six
Milwaukee Bucks v Indiana Pacers - Game Six / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Pascal Siakam

Stats: 6 Games, 37.8 MPG, 22.3 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.5 TOV, 2.7 FPG 54.7/27.3/46.2 Splits on 57.1% TS

When the Pacers traded for Pascal Siakam before the 2024 Trade Deadline, they almost certainly had the playoffs in mind, as his championship experience and veteran leadership looked to be exactly what the young Pacers team needed to take them over the edge. Sure enough, the Siakam trade paid off in full, as his presence in the final months of the regular season helped take some burden away from Tyrese Haliburton during his recovery from his hamstring injury.

Siakam was Indiana's number-one option in the second half of the season, helping lead the Pacers to a respectable 23-18 record in the final 41 games. Going into the playoffs, this production was expected to continue, as the Pacers only had one playoff run with Siakam until his contract expired and he was due for an extension. Siakam needed to have a good first-round playoff series to prove he deserved max money, and the Pacers needed every ounce of production out of him to ensure a series win.

In the first two games of the series, Siakam was nothing short of spectacular. Specifically in the first game, Siakam seemed like the only veteran on the floor and scored 36 points, leading all scorers. In the second game, when Indiana regrouped and blew out Milwaukee at Fiserv Forum, Siakam's production shone through even more, as he scored 37 points on 16/23 shooting and even went 3/4 from deep. Siakam's ability to slow the pace down and get buckets in isolation as well as transition was a vital piece in the Pacers' early series success, as he laid the foundation for the team to succeed.

Siakam would be more quiet in the next two games, scoring 17 and 13 points, respectively, but both games would result in wins for Indiana. Despite not scoring much, Siakam still helped in plenty of other aspects, even recording a near-triple-double in game 4 with 13 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.

Unfortunately, Game 5 would be his worst of the series, as he only scored 12 points on a series-worst 5/12 shooting and 1/5 from the free throw line, a recurring theme for him during the first round. For the Pacers to advance in Game 6, they would need a big game from Siakam.

Sure enough, he gave the Pacers exactly what they were looking for, as his 19 points on 9/15 shooting provided a fantastic spark for Indiana to close out the series at home and send the Bucks packing. Overall, while Siakam's performances weren't the most consistent, he was Indiana's best player during the series and kept them grounded when they got too ahead of themselves. It's pretty safe to say that the midseason trade for Siakam accomplished exactly what it was supposed to.

Final Grade: A- (Best player during the series, could have been more consistent)