First Impressions Of Pacers Rookie Bennedict Mathurin


Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Indiana Pacers dunks against the Charlotte Hornets during the 2022 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 08, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


Indiana Pacers rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin has made a strong first impression in recent NBA Summer League play.

The Pacers made the brash Mathurin the sixth overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft.

This was the same guy who declared he was better than four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.

Naturally, Mathurin has to prove that as his NBA career progresses.

He has shown flashes of his potential in two Summer League games against the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings.

If Mathurin keeps this up during the regular season, he will become an integral part of Indy’s future postseason aspirations.


Mathurin’s Play In The NBA Summer League Has Been Solid 

Mathurin exploded for 23 points in his NBA Summer League debut against the Hornets on July 9.

Charlotte sagged off on Mathurin several times during the game.

He made the Hornets pay with uncontested three-pointers time and again.

Part of Mathurin’s offensive arsenal is an effective step-back jumper that creates separation between himself and his defender.

Mathurin can also take it strong to the hole – he drove to the basket without getting intimidated by the Hornets’ big men.

Mathurin also found himself on the receiving end of an alley-oop courtesy of second-year man Chris Duarte in the first half.

Those two guys have played just two games together yet they have displayed astonishing chemistry.

The Pacers rookie also showed a scrappy side – he wasn’t afraid to crash the boards and get an offensive rebound.

Mathurin’s stat line in his second NBA Summer League game against the Kings on July 11 wasn’t as impressive.

He finished the game with 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor.

Mathurin also had three rebounds and a solitary assist.

Nonetheless, Mathurin’s offensive repertoire has been promising.

Overall, Mathurin’s shot selection was a bit off in the game against Sac Town.

Nevertheless, we can draw one conclusion from what we’ve seen from Mathurin in NBA Summer League play so far – the guy is fearless.

We’d like to see more of that spunk from Mathurin when the regular season kicks off in October.

If Mathurin displays consistency without hitting the dreaded rookie wall, he will make fans of the Blue and Gold forget about hometown hero Jaden Ivey.

Better yet, if Mathurin works out, the Pacers get another gem from the draft a year after they selected Duarte.

That bodes well for Indy’s long-term playoff aspirations.

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