T.J. Warren 2021 Season Review

Pacers forward T.J. Warren gives an update on his rehab, discusses the difficulty of sitting out most of the season, and his excitement to get back on the court next season.

Warren 2021 Player Review

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T.J. Warren 2021 Season Review

Pacers forward T.J. Warren gives an update on his rehab, discusses the difficulty of sitting out most of the season, and his excitement to get back on the court next season.
Jun 5, 2021  |  01:59

T.J. Warren 2020-21 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from T.J. Warren's 2020-21 season.
Jun 5, 2021  |  01:00

2021 Exit Interview: T.J. Warren

May 22, 2021 - T.J. provides an update on his health and discusses how he can help the Pacers moving forward.
May 22, 2021  |  02:00

Player Review 2021: T.J. Warren

by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Age: 27
Years Pro: 7
Status: Entering the final year of a four-year contract
Key Stats: Appeared in four games before having season-ending foot surgery. Averaged 15.5 points and 3.5 rebounds with a .529 field goal percentage.

Nobody on the Pacers' roster is more eager to start the 2021-22 NBA season than T.J. Warren.

After finishing the 2019-20 season with outstanding performances in the Orlando bubble, the North Carolina native was primed to become a dominant scoring threat for Indiana. The idea was to have Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, and Domantas Sabonis turn into the Pacers' version of the "big three."

Then, the injury bug bit him in the foot.

On December 29, Warren completed the Blue & Gold's fourth game of the season with 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting in 29:56 of game time. It appeared to be just another solid performance for the forward.

PHOTO GALLERY: T.J. Warren's 2020-21 Season in Photos »

But two days after the game, the team announced that the star forward was suffering from a stress fracture in his left foot — a finicky and painful injury that can severely hinder a player's footwork. It was determined that the experienced mid-range shooter would undergo surgery to repair his injury. He was labeled out indefinitely.

Speculations about when Warren could return continued until March 25. Then, it was officially announced that he would not appear in another Pacers game this season. It was an untimely blow to a squad that dealt with numerous bumps and bruises throughout the season.

T.J. Warren

Photo Credit: Matt Kryger

Not only did the Blue & Gold miss Warren's shot-creating ability, but also the former North Carolina State star's on-ball defending skills — something Warren worked diligently on during his 2019-20 season.

"It wasn't a fun process at all, just seeing what different type of holes I could've filled in for the team," Warren said of sitting out. "But I just know it can't storm forever. The sun has to come out. So I'm just looking forward to that."

The addition of Warren next year will be an absolute delight to both Pacers fans and players. His scorer's mindset could meld perfectly with Brogdon, Sabonis, and Caris LeVert's propensity to feed the hot hand on the court. Indiana ended this season ranked 14th in offensive rating (112.4 points per 100 possessions) — a 2.4 point improvement over its previous season under former head coach Nate McMillan. If all goes well, the inclusion of Warren should bolster the Pacers' offensive efforts even further.

In addition to improving his play, Warren hopes to be a locker room leader alongside the aforementioned trio.

"That’s one of the things that I need to work on — my vocal leadership," he stated. "I already lead by example and everybody knows how much I love to play, and how passionate I am about playing. So (I'm) just trying to find that balance of trying to be more comfortable speaking out and being a voice in the locker room."

Although his goals for next season are lofty, they should be no problem for the gritty forward to reach. Pacers fans should be excited to see what he can do when he is inserted into the starting lineup next year.

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