While the starters of the Pacers will get plenty of minutes and they’ve been carrying the load, it’s time for the bench to step up their game. There have been those times when the bench has brought some good energy and things have improved because of them. But other times, the offense gets so stagnant with that second unit, you wonder where do points come from.
I think it starts with the back up point guard position in D.J. Augustin and Ben Hansbrough. Ben Hansbrough was placed in that back up position for a couple of weeks, and wasn’t to bad out there, but didn’t perform that great. It allowed Augustin some time to develop back his shot that he’s had his whole career and get that mind set together. Hopefully, the demotion for Augustin was a wake up call and he can produce the type of scoring he’s done his career. He’s only averaging 3 points a game for the team, and that’s not nearly enough to help this scoring load off the bench.
Gerald Green is an athletic player and will give you those highlight moments. But his game is pretty much just that. He seems lost out there on defense at times, and he’s actually been producing better scoring wise, so maybe at least that’s coming around. But this Pacers team is more about the defense, and Green will have to figure out how to cover his man and play defense. Who knows if that come happen, but there’s no doubt Green needs to perform.
Sam Young is another guy that’s been solid from time to time, but still seems lost those other times. He can hold his own on defense, so that’s a positive. I think he’s more known for his defensive play, so if he can continue that, he’ll be a good asset for the Pacers.
Tyler Hansbrough is that intensity guy that I know can score better than what he’s shown. There was that time when he was hitting those from around the free throw line that looked to go in every time. He needs to bring back that shot and not try to drive so much to the lane as he’s not known as that type of player. But he’s the guy that I would try to get more scoring punch from. He’s been to hit double figures in scoring quite a bit, so it’s time for him to be there every time he gets to play. He’s out there for some quality minutes and needs to make the most of them.
Ian Mahinmi was brought in to give Roy Hibbert a breather and for foul trouble purposes, but I think his offensive game has come around a bit. He’s looked to score and be that aggressive player on the offensive end. If he can continue to do that, this second unit is going to get better.
It’s going to take each guy stepping up their game just a bit to give the Pacers real reason to believe they can contend. You don’t want to be that liability when the starters are pulled off the floor. These guys have had some games to really play together, and hopefully more time playing will get them the flow they need.