The Pacers might be missing their Buddy

With Mathurin's season-ending injury, do the Pacers wish they kept Buddy Hield?
Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets
Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets / Mike Lawrie/GettyImages

Last month at the trade deadline, the Pacers went all-in on Bennedict Mathurin as their starting shooting guard. They did so by sending Buddy Hield to the 76ers for Marcus Morris and Furkan Korkmaz (neither of which remained with Indiana).

With the recent news that Mathurin is out for the rest of the season, the depth chart takes a hit at this critical position for Tyrese Haliburton and company.

Ever since he was acquired from Sacramento two seasons ago, Hield's name had popped up in trade rumors before. Since being acquired by Philadelphia, Hield has looked sharp scoring almost 15 points a game, three more than when he was in a Pacers uniform.

Though Hield's field goal percentage has dipped slightly, his three-point and free throw percentages have increased. So has his assists, rebounds, steals and minutes average per game.

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While playing, Mathurin came short of those marks with averages of 14.5 points, four rebounds and two assists a game. However, both his three-point and free-throw percentages were lower than Hield's.

Andrew Nembhard has filled in those minutes as of late. But on the season, he is averaging just shy of nine points a game and 36% from behind the arc.

Aaron Nesmith has played small forward, another spot in the lineup formerly fielded by Hield. He has gone 12.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists a game.

The fourth-year swingman is shooting over 50% from the floor, better than all of the other names (including Haliburton). Nesmith is scoring 2.2 more points a game this season compared to last year.

The return for Hield was little to nothing from the 76ers and it shows in the depth chart at shooting guard following Mathurin's season ending early. Hopefully, the young guys, Nembhard and Nesmith, can produce with their increased minutes and workload.

With back-to-back games the next two nights, tonight in Oklahoma City and at home against Chicago, the Pacers look to continue to weather the storm of Mathurin's loss. Winners of six of their last ten, Indiana hopes to make the playoffs and avoid the play-in altogether.

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Currently, only two games separate the fourth seed from the eighth seed as the Pacers are battling in the middle of that part of the standings. With 17 games left to play, Indiana needs to find ways to score and win without both Hield and Mathurin.