Doug McDermott 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Doug McDermott's 2019-20 season.

Doug McDermott 2020 Player Review

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Doug McDermott 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Doug McDermott's 2019-20 season.
Sep 14, 2020  |  00:55

Player Review 2020: Doug McDermott

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Age: 28
Years Pro: 6
Status: Entering final season of a three-year deal.
Key Stats: Averaged career-high 10.3 points and 2.5 rebounds while coming off the bench for 69 regular season games. Ranked fifth in the NBA with career-best .435 3-point percentage.

If you were looking for one word to sum up Doug McDermott's 2019-20 season, the best word might be dependable.

McDermott might have been the consensus National Player of the Year in college, but he has a more specialized role in the NBA, one that he embraced and played excellently in his second season in Indiana.

The Pacers signed McDermott in the summer of 2018 to add a sharpshooter to their second unit. The 6-8 forward filled the role well in his first season with the Blue & Gold, averaging 7.3 points off the bench while shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range, but he really blossomed last season as part of the Pacers' revamped second unit.

McDermott developed a nice chemistry with Domantas Sabonis a year ago, something that coach Nate McMillan kept intact this season despite Sabonis' move into the starting lineup by deploying the All-Star big man as the center with Indiana's second unit.

But the additions of T.J. McConnell, a point guard who pushes the pace, and Justin Holiday, another 3-point threat on the wing, as well as the emergence of second-year guard Aaron Holiday as another guard capable of leading the break or spacing the floor, really opened things up for McDermott.

His scoring average jumped three whole points to 10.3 points per game despite just averaging 2.5 more minutes per game than in 2018-19. Per 36 minutes, McDermott's scoring average soared from what was a career-best 15.2 points a year ago all the way up to 18.6 last season.

PHOTO GALLERY: Doug McDermott's 2019-20 Season in Photos »

And though McDermott was already an elite shooter, he climbed into the upper echelon of the NBA last season by knocking down 43.5 percent of his shots, a mark bested by only four players in the entire league (George Hill, JJ Redick, Seth Curry, and Duncan Robinson).

McDermott was also remarkably durable for the second straight season, something that stands out on Indiana's injury-riddled roster. He appeared in all but five games in 2018-19 and missed just four contests in 2019-20, seeing the floor in 69 of 73 regular season games and all four postseason contests.

He scored in double figures 26 times and made three or more 3-pointers on 17 occasions. The highlight of his year came over a five-game Western Conference road trip in late January, where McDermott averaged 17.4 points and went 22-for-33 from beyond the arc, making six 3-pointers in three different games and twice scoring a season-high 24 points.

While McDermott is known primarily as a shooter, he also has shown an ability to score in other ways, particularly when the defense sticks too closely to him on the perimeter. He's become a master of the back cut, as McConnell and Sabonis both found him on many occasions darting to the rim past an overzealous defender. He also has the ability to put the ball on the floor when necessary and the size and athleticism to throw down his fair share of dunks over the course of the season.

Doug McDermott

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

One curious element to McDermott's statistics carried over from his first season in Indiana. His home/road 3-point shooting splits were remarkably drastic in 2018-19, when he shot 49.1 percent from 3-point range on the road but just 31.3 percent at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Those splits seemed like a one-year anomaly, but that turned out to not be the case.

McDermott was a better shooter both at home and on the road last season, but a wide chasm remained between his two 3-point percentages. He shot an eye-popping 51.2 percent from beyond the arc, but just 33.1 percent at The Fieldhouse.

There is no easy explanation for that disparity. Even McDermott remains flummoxed by it. Maybe next year he will snap the trend, but as long as his overall 3-point percentage remains above .400, he'll be content.

On the whole, McDermott's 2019-20 season was the best of his six-year career. He seems comfortable in Indiana both on the court and in the locker room. With their top eight scorers all under contract for next season, the Pacers should enjoy a good amount of continuity in 2020-21.

They certainly know what they're getting from McDermott.

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