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Indiana Pacers 'Weekcap': The Pacers win three games in a row at home

Pascal Siakam recorded his first triple-double with Indiana in a win over the 76ers.

The Indiana Pacers followed three straight losses after their trade for Pascal Siakam with three straight wins last week in Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Click here read the previous Pacers "weekcap."

Games played:

  • Jan. 25: Pacers 134 - 76ers 122 (home)

  • Jan. 26: Pacers 133 - Suns 131 (home)

  • Jan. 28: Pacers 116 - Grizzlies 110 (home)

Following the Pacers' loss in Siakam’s home debut on Jan. 23, Indiana’s new star is starting to gain traction, even without superstar Tyrese Haliburton, who continues to be sidelined with a hamstring injury.

The newly constructed version of this team showed the chemistry it's building with three straight wins, including two against championship contenders in the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns.

This season the Pacers rank first in the NBA in assists per game with 31.1. They matched or improved upon that number in all three games with 35 assists versus the 76ers, 34 against the Suns and 31 versus the Grizzlies. 

The Pacers also have the highest-scoring offense this season at 124.8 points per game. Normally, you can expect around 12 assists per game from Haliburton. Without Haliburton, the Pacers still average 118.2 points per game, which would still rank in the top 10 in the NBA.

The recent addition of Siakam opens the floor with even more spacing. He provides play-making and he even helps on defense, which can lead to more transition points. 

What happened this week in Indiana?

  • Pascal Siakam’s first triple-double with the Pacers

    • Last Thursday, Pascal led the Pacers in all three major statistical categories against the 76ers. He posted a 26/13/10 stat line, which marked his first triple-double in Indiana. 

    • This led soon to an Instagram post where he wrote in the caption, “I could get used to this." Earlier in the week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Siakam and his camp are “expected to be eager to work out a new contract with the franchise this summer." That's nothing short of positive news for Pacers fans who may not have believed that sending three first-round picks for a player on an expiring contract would work out. Again, it's only halfway through the season and not even All-Star Weekend yet, but this is definitely a good sign for the Pacers. 

  • The Pacers spoil Devin Booker’s 62-point outing

    • Booker put up 62 points on 22-for-37 shooting and he was six of 12 from three, but it was not enough for the Suns. The Pacers outscored them 28-17 in the fourth quarter, causing Phoenix to lose a 17-point lead. 

    • A crazy sequence of events in the last 10 seconds of the game led to Indiana's win. With eight seconds left on the clock, Benedict Mathurin went up for a layup against two Suns defenders, trying to draw a foul, while the score was tied at 131. The ball rimmed out, Siakam grabbed the offensive rebound in the post and he put it back up with 5.7 seconds left. However, he also missed, this time off the right side of the rim. Obi Toppin then grabbed the ball with 5.1 seconds left. He went up and tapped in a contested layup with 3.4 seconds left in the game. The Suns called a timeout to get the ball over halfcourt. Booker had the ball at the top of the key but he slipped. When he got up, Aaron Nesmith was all over him. Booker ran to the right and shot a fading three while Nesmith provided a strong contest, and the shot hit off the rim and bounced off. 

  • Nesmith’s rise

    • Since Nesmith came back from injury in mid-January, he has scored less than 10 points in a game only once. Nesmith is showing why he was a lottery pick back in 2020. He is the guy the Pacers look to guard most teams' best players. He is the guy Indiana coach Rick Carlisle has running around all over the perimeter trying to avoid screens and prevent threes at all costs. He is the guy who is putting his body on the line and diving for every loose ball possible. He is locking in as the Pacers’ defensive MVP and he’s embracing the role. He wants to guard opposing players across all 94 feet of the court. 

    • Due to this role, he seems to be gaining more confidence offensively. Nesmith already has one of the best three-point percentages in the NBA this season at 45.9% on 4.6 attempts per game. Now he is showing more aggression with the ball. He’s looking to create for himself in the paint, off the dribble, and not settle for a low-percentage shot. The one thing he has to be careful of is overaggressiveness and hoping for a foul call. Having more time playing alongside elite playmakers in Haliburton and Siakam should help Nesmith to develop more reads when driving, but I love his aggressiveness in scoring. 

    • In the playoffs, expect for Nesmith to receive a lot of publicity for his defensive mindset.

While Haliburton remains out with an injury, Pacers fans will hope guard Andrew Nembhard will continue to get comfortable. Nembhard struggled earlier this month while also going in and out of the lineup with injuries of his own. However, he has since pushed himself to a new level. He is maintaining this offense as a high-powered machine, dishing out eight assists per game in the last four. He averaged 18 points per game in that stretch. If he keeps it up, the Pacers will keep winning. 

Upcoming games:

  • Jan. 30: Pacers at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT

  • Feb. 1: Pacers at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET on Bally Sports IN

  • Feb. 2: Pacers vs. Kings, 7:30 p.m. ET on Bally Sports IN 

  • Feb. 4: Pacers at Hornets, 6 p.m. ET on Bally Sports IN

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