Andrew Nembhard is proving himself to be a draft night steal for the Indiana Pacers, who finished a seven-game road trip Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 6-foot-5 keeper continues to exceed expectations after being selected in the first pick of the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft.
Nembhard had the best performance of his youth career on Monday, as he scored a season-high 31 points, adding 13 assists and eight rebounds to put the Pacers ahead. take the lead. 112-104 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said: “In particular, Nembhard went wherever he wanted on the lane, and you saw his patience. “He put on some great passes, tire pass, sink pass and then when we tried to cover the paint he was out there knocking in three seconds.”
Nembhard is averaging 15.6 points and 7.2 assists while shooting 53.4% from the ground and 46.4% from 3-point in his past 5 games.
“I said it when Hoops Hype did the 2022 draft again, he would be a top 15 pick,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of Nembhard. “I’m raising it to the top 10. He’s really a special player. Our basketball players just hit it out of the park with him. This guy has amazing poise. He is strong. He is the old school but the new school. He is so special.”
Indiana broke a three-game losing streak with an unlikely win over Golden State despite the absence of six players, including Tyrese Haliburton (left groin), Myles Turner (right hamstring) and Chris Duarte (sprain) left ankle).
Nembhard could be asked to take on another heavy load against Minnesota, who have lost four of their last five games.
The wolves had three days to regroup after their 135-128 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. The game featured eight technical fouls, including five against Minnesota.
Center Rudy Gobert was eliminated early in the competition, leaving the Wolves vulnerable on defense without Karl-Anthony Towns, who remained sidelined with calf strain.
Minnesota coach Chris Finch said his team’s lack of composure cost them against the Thunder.
Finch said: “I think for sure the frustration has flared up. “It was not our most mature endeavor. We need a more mature effort than that.”
D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points against Oklahoma City, while Anthony Edwards continued his hot streak with 26 points. The third-year keeper has scored more than 20 points in eight of his last 10 games.
Minnesota’s defense has become a big concern after conceding at least 135 points in 3 of the last 4 games. With Towns sidelined, the margin of error by the Wolves is quite small.
“I feel like we’re playing sloppily at some point in the game,” said center Naz Reid. “Sometimes we can have dizzying changes that we are better at. Things like that cost us the game. We have to get better to move forward.”
The Wolves have won their last three encounters with Indiana, including a 115-101 victory on November 23.
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