The 3 most important players for the Indiana Pacers for the rest of the season

If the Indiana Pacers are going to make the playoffs, these three players have to be great down the stretch of the regular season.

Feb 12, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) dunks
Feb 12, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith (23) dunks / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Andrew Nembhard

It remains to be seen who the best player to start at the two-guard is. The Pacers have been starting Andrew Nembhard ever since they traded Buddy Hield. They thought that Nembhard's body type would allow him to play better defense next to a bad defender in Haliburton than the other options they have.

That has mostly been true. Nembhard isn't tall, but he's thick. He won't get bullied in the post and can switch 1 through 3 pretty reliably. The problem for him has been hitting open threes. Early in the season, he wasn't hitting enough of his open shots to be an asset.

Nembhard has been getting better in that regard recently. In the last 10 games, he's hitting just under 41% of his three-pointers. The issue has been the low number of attempts he's been putting up. He shooting just 2.2 threes a game in that stretch, preferring to operate in the mid-range.

Hitting open threes has made Nembard more confident in taking them. Earlier in the year, he would just pass him up because he kept missing them. Even now he's not pulling the trigger quite as fast as I would like. If he's going to start next to Haliburton, he has to take those open shots.

If he can keep hitting his open shots and give the Pacers 10-12 points per game down the stretch, that would be huge. He's clearly the fifth scoring option, which is fine. But getting him more confident in his shot is key. His defense needs to just stay the same because it's been adequate enough.

The final player on this list is the most important player on the team.