The Indiana Pacers went into the off-season with a specific agenda in mind. After taking a gamble on players like Gerald Green to help give them good minutes off the bench last season, ultimately an unsuccessful venture, the Pacers went into NBA Free Agency and on the trade market looking to make their bench much better.
Obviously getting Danny Granger back, signing Chris Copeland and being able to trade for Luis Scola are all moves that will largely improve this Pacers team and give their reserves much more firepower. However, the signing of C.J. Watson may be the most important one that they made last season.
Last season with the Brooklyn Nets, Watson wasn’t incredible by any stretch of the imagination. In 80 games, Watson averaged 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes per game while shooting only 41.8 percent from the floor, but also while shooting a solid 41.1 percent from three.
Even if Watson wasn’t fantastic last season, him coming to Indiana is so important because of how much of an upgrade over their backup point guard from last season, D.J. Augustin.
While playing behind George Hill last season with the Pacers, Augustin was predictably not good. In 16.1 minutes per game he averaged just 4.7 points, 2.2 assists and 1.2 rebounds while shooting an abysmal 35 percent from the floor and only 35.3 percent from three. If he was a solid defender, it would make up for his poor offense, but that’s not the case with Augustin. He was simply just not effective.
Watson has the ability to provide an offensive spark to the Pacers on a consistent basis more often than not. Compared to Augustin, who often seemed to detract more from Indiana than he gave last season, Watson is a huge upgrade that should have the Pacers improving like they hope to this season.
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