Player Analysis: Josh McRoberts
May 17, 2011
LOOKING BACK: McRoberts established himself as an up-and-coming power forward with a 2010-11 season that was not only the best of his brief career, but startlingly so. He entered the season with career totals of three starts, 273 points, 211 rebounds, 62 assists and 32 blocked shots in his first three years in the NBA and blew those numbers out of the water with 51 starts, 533 points, 382 rebounds, 150 assists and 57 blocked shots. Though he moved to the bench with Tyler Hansbrough's promotion to the starting lineup for the final month of the season, McRoberts proved equally productive in both roles. As a starter he averaged 23.6 minutes, 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and shot .537. As a reserve he averaged 18.8 minutes, 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and shot .574. In fact, McRoberts was so productive he ranked 18th in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating per 48 minutes (26.15). Danny Granger's per-48 rating was 25.6. He scored in double figures 10 times and had three double-doubles. He flirted with a triple-double on Feb. 9 against Charlotte with 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists, and had a tip-in with 1:21 left that put the Pacers ahead for good.
LOOKING AHEAD: One of the best athletes at his position in the NBA, McRoberts has remarkably jumping ability, can handle well enough to bring the ball up himself and initiate the offense on occasion, is a good passer and has made major strides with his shot. Though he has four seasons of experience he still is just 24 years old, thus his game is still emerging. Because of his athleticism and skill set, he is not a traditional power forward, but rather a hybrid in the Josh Smith mold.
KEY STATS: McRoberts shot just 8-of-34 (.235) from the 3-point line in his first three NBA seasons, but was 23-of-60 (.383) in 2010-11.
CONTRACT STATUS: Free agent.
OUTLOOK: There's no doubt the Pacers would love to re-sign McRoberts, who proved not only a valuable piece in the frontcourt rotation but a popular teammate because of his ability to serve as something of a glue player. Because of his knack for the spectacular, however, there's every possibility he has captured the attention of other NBA teams coveting a player of his unusual skills, which could push his price beyond the Pacers' budget. If Frank Vogel returns as head coach, he has made clear his belief in Hansbrough as the starter, which places a ceiling on what McRoberts could accomplish in his hometown.