Coach Rick Carlisle is loving what he’s seeing from rookie guard/forward Bennedict Mathurin. Not a surprise. So is the rest of Pacers nation.
“He is a strong-willed guy who is a nasty competitor who can really score,” Carlisle said, va Marc J. Spears of Andscape. “He’s getting better and better. As he’s going on, teams are spending more time game planning for him, preparing for him, making it harder for him. I spend a lot of time watching film with him.
The adjustments that a young player has to make take patience and discipline. “
“If you let it frustrate you, it can really frustrate you. I’ve been impressed in how he has maintained an even keel through all that.”
Mathurin, 20, is 6-foot-6 and was selected with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
“I feel like I have no choice but to be great,” he said, via Bob Kravitz of The Athletic. “A lot of people play a sport because they have a talent, but I play for a different reason. I want to be one of the greatest players ever. I want to influence the kids (back in Montreal) to believe in themselves.
“Where I grew up (in the impoverished Montreal-Nord, Quebec, neighborhood), a lot of kids make bad decisions because they never got the chance to be around people who want the best for them. I want to give them motivation.
“And I want to take care of my family. I made that promise to myself when I was very young. I have no choice. That’s the way it is.”
- Point guard Tyrese Haliburton played his regular minutes in Monday’s ugly home loss to the Heat, but emerged with a single point. “I just didn’t have a great game overall,” he said, via Dustin Dopirak of the Indianapolis Star.
- Shooting guard Chris Duarte has been with the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants and is expected to play in two games vs. the Wisconsin Herd this week, Carlisle said. Duarte has been out with a sprained ankle since Nov. 4.
- NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Indy 500 legend Al Unser Jr. attended Monday’s loss to the Heat. It’s safe to say the Pacers didn’t exactly put on a great show.
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