Kelan Martin 2021 Season Review

Kelan Martin discusses his first season in Indiana, studying the game while he was not playing, and taking advantage of his opportunities late in the season.

Martin 2021 Player Review

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Kelan Martin 2021 Season Review

Kelan Martin discusses his first season in Indiana, studying the game while he was not playing, and taking advantage of his opportunities late in the season.
Jun 13, 2021  |  02:03

Kelan Martin 2020-21 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from Kelan Martin's 2020-21 season.
Jun 13, 2021  |  00:57

2021 Exit Interview: Kelan Martin

May 23, 2021 - Kelan Martin discusses the challenges of being out of the rotation for much of the season, finally getting an opportunity in the final month, and building on that momentum heading into the offseason.
May 23, 2021  |  02:50

Player Review 2021: Kelan Martin

by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Age: 25
Years Pro: 2
Status: Entering the final year of a two-year contract. His contract becomes fully guaranteed on Aug. 7.
Key Stats: Appeared in 35 games. Averaged 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Set new career-highs in 3-point percentage (.400) and field goal percentage (.449).

Finding playing time for a young player such as Kelan Martin can be tough. However, the former Butler University star stayed vigilant and pounced on his opportunity towards the end of the season.

PHOTO GALLERY: Kelan Martin's 2020-21 Season in Photos »

Although it was difficult for the Louisville native to find playing time early, Martin stepped up and delivered as Indiana started to pile up injuries. Over the first 56 games of the regular season, he saw the floor just 19 times. All but four of those appearances lasted fewer than six minutes. He then appeared in the final 16 games of the regular season — playing 10 minutes or more in nine of them.

"It was tough," he said of the lack of playing time early. "You know you can play. You know you can come in and be an impact on both sides of the floor."

With two seasons now under his belt, Martin's game is coming together solidly. The small forward is suited more for playing on the wing. However, he's shown the capability to play in the paint alongside a defensive-minded center.

Although his 6-5 frame lends itself to mismatches, Martin was not afraid to contest shots. Over the final 12 games, he recorded a block in five, including a run of four straight games from May 10 – May 15. But this year, the scrappy forward was known more for his offense.

Kelan Martin

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

Towards the end of the season, the forward consistently fired efficient shots. He shot over 50 percent from the floor in four of the final eight regular-season games and connected multiple times from deep in five straight to close it out.

His efforts culminated in a season-high 25-point performance on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers on May 10. He shot 11-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from deep, and collected seven rebounds. The Blue & Gold took home a 111-102 victory.

"It's given me all the confidence in the world," he said of ending the season strong. "Just knowing that I can play at this level — the NBA level — with a lot of high-level guys. Going into the summer, I just want to continue working on my game."

Given Martin's closing stats, it is safe to assume that he has nowhere to go but up in this league if given the opportunity. While with the Blue & Gold, he will be behind a few experienced forwards in Justin Holiday and T.J. Warren. Nonetheless, the Butler grad knows Pacer nation has his back. And he will outwork everyone to prove his worth, especially during his upcoming contract year.

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