Indiana Pacers' 2nd-half misfortunes continue with season-ending injury to key player

The Indiana Pacers can't seem to catch a break in the second half of the NBA season.
Indiana Pacers v New Orleans Pelicans
Indiana Pacers v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers' second half of the season misfortunes continue after season-ending injury to Bennedict Mathurin.

When the Indiana Pacers acquired Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors just before the NBA Trade Deadline, the hope was that he would help the team take another step forward in the Eastern Conference. However, that hasn't exactly been the outcome since the move was completed. Instead, the Pacers have taken a bit of a step back.

On January 13, at roughly the halfway point of the season, the Pacers were 23-15 and fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. However, since then, not much has gone right for the Pacers. It started with a Tyrese Haliburton injury and it's almost as if the Pacers never fully recovered since, even after he returned.

Since January 14, the Pacers are just 12-14. They fell from having the best offensive rating in the NBA to outside the top 10 and continue to have one of the worst defenses in the league. Since the second half of the season started, not much has gone right for the Pacers. With just a few weeks before the end of the regular season, it seems that their second-half misfortunes continue.

The second half of the season misfortunes continue for the Indiana Pacers

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Bennedict Mathurin is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a torn labrum. Mathurin was the Pacers' fourth-leading scorer this season and the team's top bench scorer.

Even though he didn't make the big jump that many believed he could make coming into this season, he was still an extremely valuable player for the Pacers this season. With the Pacers in a dogfight to climb out of a Play-In Tournament spot in the East, this is not the news the Pacers were hoping for.

If it wasn't going to be difficult already, the Pacers are going to have their work cut out for them heading into the last 18 games of the season for Indiana. No matter how this season ends, the true test for the Pacers is going to come next season.

It was unfair to expect the addition of Siakam to pay off right away. Heading into next season, the Pacers could be a dangerous team in the East. And the continued development of Mathurin, in addition to Siakam's comfort level with the team, could play a key role in that.

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