Years Pro: 3
Status: Team option for 2022-23 season.
Key Stats: Appeared in a team-high 67 games (25 starts), averaged 9.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.1 assists. Shot 35 percent from 3-point range.
From starting in the G League to transforming into the Pacers' best role player, Oshae Brissett excited fans every time he stepped onto the court.
With the injury bug running rampant through the Pacers' roster, Brissett seemed constantly available. The Syracuse product missed just 15 games and only four due to injury — he was available but did not appear in 10 games before December due to coach's decision. He then appeared in 28 consecutive games before missing a pair of games in January. After that, he missed two more games the rest of the way.
Often due to the constant roster rotations, Brissett was asked to step into various roles this season. He spent time at his usual positions, small and power forward. However, at 6-foot-7, 210 pounds, he was sometimes the tallest person on the court for the Blue & Gold. Those statistics alone made him the de facto center in a few games this season.
Despite this, not one fan can argue Brissett did not approach every game with the same attitude. Every time the Canadian stepped onto the floor, he gave it his all.
PHOTO GALLERY: Oshae Brissett's 2021-22 Season in Photos »
His averages do not tell the tale of his successful season. For instance, when Brissett was on the court, the squad's offensive rating jumped 1.9 points higher to 114.2 points per 100 possessions. Brissett could stretch the floor with a decent three-ball. He proved more than capable of heating up from deep, hitting at least two treys in 20 games and three or more in 11. On Feb. 27, he sank a career-high six triples out of nine attempts against the Boston Celtics. Additionally, when Brissett was on the floor, Indiana's offensive rebounding percentage rose two points to 25. Individually, the forward averaged a career-high 1.6 offensive rebounds per game in his 2022 campaign, grabbing four or more in eight contests.
Brissett reached the 20-point mark in seven contests this season, including a season-high 28 points against the Brooklyn Nets on April 10. He also hauled in eight boards and dished out three assists in that game. But perhaps his most impactful performance came in the squad's 31-point win on March 20. He dropped 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Additionally, he hauled in nine boards — four offensive — had one assist and a steal. He turned the ball over only once and provided fans with the highlight of the season in the second quarter.
Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images
Brissett had a penchant for acrobatic in-game slams this season. At least three times, the undrafted forward made national headlines after ferocious flushes. On Dec. 11 against the Dallas Mavericks, he finished Caris LeVert's steal off an inbound pass with an iconic showboating pose. He paid homage to Karl "The Mailman" Malone by finishing the dunk with his right hand while placing his left hand behind his head. On Feb. 16 versus the Washington Wizards, he sent home a windmill dunk off one foot in the first quarter. Then, against Portland in March — despite a tumultuous Pacers campaign — he still gave it his all.
The play started when Tyrese Haliburton picked up a loose ball. The 22-year-old sent a cannon to a sprinting Lance Stephenson, who caught it over his head with two hands like Willie Mays' basket catch. Known for flashy plays himself, Stephenson dished a no-look, behind-the-back pass to Brissett and immediately ran into the first row celebrating. Brissett snagged the pass and finished with a two-handed reverse jam through a foul. Afterward, Justin Anderson provided an example of the fans' reaction, placing both hands on his head with his mouth agape.
"You know Lance, he's about to give it up," Brissett said later. "He likes the flashy stuff. So, I had to show that he had a good pass. I had to do something to finish it out."
"I didn't even see it," Stephenson added. "I was like, 'Why is everybody yelling?' I seen the replay, and I was like, 'Oh my god, that was insane!'"
After his first full year in the NBA, it is safe to make a few inferences about Brissett. Perhaps he is picking up on a few things that make Stephenson an Indiana legend. Perhaps he wants to become a legend himself. Naturally, this leads to another year of progression for the 2022-23 season. But one thing is for certain. Every time he dons the Blue & Gold jersey, he gives 110 percent energy and enthusiasm. He will fight for every loose ball, rebound, and point. And he will do it with some flair when possible.
2022 Pacers.com Player Review Schedule
April 18: Tyrese Haliburton
April 19: Buddy Hield
April 20: Chris Duarte
April 21: Isaiah Jackson
April 22: Oshae Brissett
April 23: Malcolm Brogdon
April 24: Goga Bitadze
April 25: Myles Turner
April 26: Duane Washington Jr.
April 27: T.J. McConnell
April 28: Jalen Smith
April 29: Lance Stephenson
April 30: Terry Taylor