Pacers' road trip was about opportunity for young guys, like undrafted rookie Duane Washington Jr.
He hit seven 3s Monday in New Orleans. In other games, it was Chris Duarte, Goga Bitadze, Isaiah Jackson or Keifer Sykes relishing an increased role.
Duane Washington Jr. missed all four of his shot attempts in 15 minutes Saturday, a loss in Phoenix. He also had one turnover. But you wouldn’t know it by the way he responded and then spoke after their most recent game Monday in New Orleans.
“I had a good rhythm coming into the game, I had a good warmup,” he said before the team left to catch their charter flight home. “My guys believe in me to make shots and they put me in some great positions tonight to make a lot.”
It’s in these moments, often vulnerable moments, when you learn more about a player, his personality and his drive to perform. How could he have felt in a good rhythm after going scoreless, then having to travel to another new city and play in another arena for the first time?
“I had a great practice (Sunday),” Washington Jr. said confidently. That’s who he is, grateful yet hungry, confident yet humble to know he has a ways to go. Positive energy was fed to him daily at an early age by his parents, Duane and Therese Washington.
Washington Jr. continued to explain…