The Indiana Pacers took the now back-to-back NBA Champion Miami Heat to a game seven in the Eastern Conference Finals this past year. Obviously that gives them a great place to build on going forward, which means that they wanted to address a few of their issues in the off-season, particularly in free agency.
One of their biggest issues from last season was their production from their backup point guard, D.J. Augustin. Augustin played in 76 games last year for the Pacers and saw the floor for 16.1 minutes per game. He averaged only 4.7 points, 2.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds per game, but shot an abhorrent 35 percent from the field and a less-than-stellar 35.3 percent from the field.
For a defensive-minded team like the Pacers, one of the keys for them having a ton of success and potentially making it to the NBA Finals is getting efficient offensive output from their bench reserves. Considering that Augustin was putting up poor numbers, not scoring at an efficient rate, and isn’t a terrific defender, he was doing more harm than good for Indiana last season.
However, the Pacers have addressed that issue in free agency and done so quite well in signing backup point guard C.J. Watson. Last year with the Brooklyn Nets, Watson averaged 19 minutes per game and put up 6.8 points, two assists and 1.8 rebounds per game while shooting 41.8 percent from the field and, more importantly, 41.1 percent from three.
Watson isn’t a great all-around player, but he’s a great outside shooter who will give the Pacers solid and efficient offense off the bench next season. With Indiana making moves like the Watson signing and retaining their core from last season, they undoubtedly seem set up for another run in the playoffs.