The Pacers are close to getting a key shooter back

The Indiana Pacers have been without one of their best shooters for a while now. He's finally almost ready to return.

Feb 14, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN;   Toronto Raptors guard Gradey Dick (1) shoots the ball against
Feb 14, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Gradey Dick (1) shoots the ball against / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are the best shooting team in the league. They make almost 51% of the shots they take. They are one of just two teams in the league who even hit 50%. Yet, for as well as they shoot it, they don't shoot the three nearly as well.

Indiana makes 37.6% of their shots. That's still good enough for 8th in the league. They used to be higher, but Tyrese Haliburton's struggles from deep have moved that number down. The loss of Bennedict Mathurin hurts their three-point shooting too, as does the trade of Buddy Hield.

The guy they got for Hield at the deadline has hardly played since coming to Indy. Doug McDermott, who's in his second stint with the Pacers, has played in just six games since coming over in a trade. He has been out since February 26th with a calf strain.

Doug McDermott should be back soon for the Pacers

Speaking to the media on Friday at practice, Rick Carlisle mentioned that McDermott is practicing and is close to returning. He didn't specify a date or how close McDermott is to coming back, but this update is better than no update. I'd imagine he won't play against the Nets.

McDermott was brought in to help the shooting off the bench so far, he's shooting just 29% from three since being acquired by the Pacers. Hopefully, that is due to the calf strain and it was something that was bothering him for a bit. It would be nice if he came back shooting better when he's healthy.

Until McDermott comes back, Jarace Walker will keep getting some minutes. He played pretty well against the Bulls on Wednesday. He played 24 minutes and was a +14 off the bench. These are valuable minutes that he needs to capitalize on while McDermott is still out.

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If McDermott comes back and regains his shooting form, he provides a big boost for the Pacers. It's always good to have a knockdown three-point shooter coming off the bench, and that's what he's been over the course of his career.