Get to Know Your Pacers: Bench
Scott Agness | May 23, 2013
The Pacers will need their bench players, which they altered during the offseason, to be solid. In spurts this season, several individual bench players have been great. In the 12 to 15 minutes a few of them will receive, they need to make the most of the time and not get the team in a hole. The five starters are central to the success of the Pacers but to advance further, they’re going to need contributions from their bench.
He was brought in over the summer on a one-year deal, as the Pacers needed someone to backup George Hill at point guard. His teammates praise his ball handling and ability to get in the paint and kick to an open man. Augustin’s 3-point shot, which he’s hit 40 percent of the time in the postseason, is a bonus. He’s quiet, both on the court and off, but he understands his role.
You love him if he’s on your team, but if he’s not, he frustrates the heck out of you. Hansbrough puts in his mouthguard and plays with an incredible motor each time he’s on the floor. He’s tenacious, never gives up on the play and can be irritating in the lane. The Pacers have an advantage at power forward, with West and Hansbrough, so they must exploit it. Hansbrough’s a man of few words, but you listen when he has something to say.
The Frenchman is the only player on the Pacers’ roster that has conference finals experience. He won an NBA Championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Over the summer, the Pacers, who were seeking a dependable backup center, traded with the Mavs. Mahinmi is the best-dressed player on the team and he, in fact, has his own clothing line – French Deal. The 6-11 center is friendly and constantly positive. His advantage of Hibbert is defending the pick-and-roll and stepping out on shooters.
The primary reason he was brought in was for a secondary defender. Pacers officials wanted a player that could help Paul George defend talents like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Young is a true team-first guy that accepts his role off the bench when called upon. After his disappointing first game in New York in the second round, Young put extra work in, running downtown or at hotels and also arriving on the floor hours before practice. He knows Frank Vogel will shout his name and he’ll get a chance to try to contain the world’s best in James.
Pendy is the life and character of the team. He’s outgoing, supportive and has a few dance moves. While the starters are introduced, he’s at the end of the line waiting to do an individual handshake with each guy. Then, the team huddles around him while he goes nuts to get them fired up. Pendergraph has a mid-range shot, which brings the opponents’ big out, and he attacks the offensive glass. The Pacers want Hibbert on the floor as much as possible and so with Mahinmi getting the nod to back him up, his time may be limited. But that won’t keep him from cheering on his teammates and aiding them however he can. The 26-year-old and his wife recently had a daughter, Naomi, on May 19.
Seeking a scorer off the bench, the Pacers signed Green over the summer to a three-year deal. After bouncing around teams and even having a stint overseas, Green was thankful for the opportunity even though it admittedly hasn’t panned out as both sides had hoped. When the floor, he’s not afraid to throw the ball up, even when it might be better to run the clock. Should Green get going, however, look out, because he’s a streaky shooter.
The Pacers traded up to get Johnson in the second round of last June’s NBA Draft. Out of UC Santa Barbara, he struggled in training camp and early on in the season, but after games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the team’s D-League affiliate, Johnson’s play improved and so did his confidence. He’s only seen the court in the playoff games that were already settled, but Vogel has the confidence to turn to him if in need. The Pacers really like his work ethic and potential to be a steady wing in this league.
Many thought the team brought Ben in for training camp as a favor to his brother, Tyler. But Ben earned his spot and even backed up Hill at point guard for a 10-day stretch when Augustin was in a rut. He’s out of the rotation and will only see the floor when a game is decided or an emergency situation.
The Pacers’ 2012 first round draft pick hasn’t played in the postseason. He’s at least fourth on the depth chart at center and still needs at least another year or two to develop in this league.
Get to know the members of the Pacers starting five below:
Get to Know Pacers Point Guard George Hill »
Get to Know Pacers Shooting Guard Lance Stephenson »
Get to Know Pacers Small Forward Paul George »
Get to Know Pacers Power Forward David West »
Get to Know Pacers Center Roy Hibbert »
Get to Know Your Starting Five Main Page »
Guarantee Playoff Tickets »
Guarantee 2013 Playoffs tickets by placing a deposit on an 11-Game Plan