The Indiana Pacers surprised a lot of people after finishing 5th in the Eastern Conference. They traded away Paul George and somehow became a better team. They pushed the Cavs to seven games in the first round. Victor Oladipo is the leader of the team but all eyes will be on their new addition Tyreke Evans.
Last season was Evans best season since winning rookie of the year back during the 2009-10 season. Evans weakest skill has been his shooting ability and yet last season he seemed to have figured it out. It was by far his best shooting season of his career. He attempted five 3-pointers a game and shot 39% from long range. In just 52 games he knocked down 114 3-pointers. His career high before that was 69 and he shot 30% that season.
Evans is still a good playmaker averaging 5.2 apg for a struggling Grizzlies team. The Pacers struggled when Oladipo was off the floor. They didn’t have anyone to score the ball or setup anyone consistently. With his improved shooting Evans should create more space for Oladipo. He can also take the ball out of his hands and set him up with easier baskets.
The contract works for both parties, it’s only a one-year deal so if Evans does not deliver there is no harm done. On the other side if Evans has another productive season he will get a bigger payday next off-season. Evans might be best coming off the bench to help a struggling bench unit. However, he will most likely finish games next to Oladipo which will give the Pacers a bigger switchable lineup to end games.
Evans may have an even better season because he will be playing with better players. The spacing will allow him to get to the basket and Oladipo will set him up for more 3-pointers. If the shooting holds up expect the Pacers to make more noise during a playoff run.