The play of Jarace Walker should get Pacers fans excited

The Indiana Pacers haven't played Jarace Walker a lot this year, but he's finally getting some extended playing time. The glimpses we're seeing of him should get Pacers fans excited.
Mar 25, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Jarace Walker (5) controls the
Mar 25, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Jarace Walker (5) controls the / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers took Jarace Walker with the 8th pick in this past NBA Draft. Yet, he's played the least of any of the top eight picks of the Draft this year. He has mostly been relegated to the bench and has been playing more with the Mad Ants this year than with Indiana.

It looked like the Pacers didn't trust him for a while. Some of his erratic play warranted that. At the same time, he's just a rookie. He has to have time to play through his mistakes. He's starting to get that time now as the playoffs inch closer and he's shown glimpses of what he can be.

Pacers fans should be excited about what they've seen from Jarace Walker

One of the reasons why the Pacers drafted Walker in the first place is his size on the wing. He's listed at 6'7 and 235 pounds, which allows him to switch across a broad spectrum of matchups. In his rookie year, he's also shown his ability to block shots on unsuspecting players.

One thing that has been a surprise is his passing. Against the Clippers on Monday, he had 7 assists. The touch he had on some of the passes really stood out, as did his anticipation. He knew what he wanted to do with the ball when he got it and made the right reads.

Walker's shooting is what's holding him back right now. He's only shooting 38% from the field, although most of his shots are from three. He needs to be a bit more aggressive offensively and give teams a reason to guard him so he can use his passing as a bigger weapon.

I know it has only been a few flashes, but Pacers fans should still be excited about some of the moments we've seen from Walker. He'll get some playing time down the stretch of the season that could determine whether or not he sees playoff minutes.

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No matter what, he's earned time in the rotation next season. That's when we'll really get to see him blossom into the player he's ready to become.