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‘He is a fearless guy’: Chris Duarte brings dynamic scoring to Pacers

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Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle on Tuesday offered high praise for rookie Chris Duarte after a strong preseason debut versus the New York Knicks.

Duarte produced a team-high 15 points, five assists, two rebounds and one blocked shot in 19 minutes off the bench. He finished by shooting 5-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-6 from 3-point range, in the 125-104 loss on the road.

He was highly touted entering the NBA draft given his knack as an offensive player. On Tuesday, he had seemingly every area of his game on display, from his ability to drive into the paint and draw contact to pulling up and hitting from beyond the arc.

Carlisle said Duarte gives the Pacers another dynamic scoring option.

He did a lot of good things. He made some mistakes, too, that are correctable mistakes but when you’re in your first NBA game, these kinds of things can certainly happen. Overall, he is a fearless guy and I loved the way he played.

The Pacers certainly have high hopes for Duarte this season.

They believe he can play an integral role with the team, and his scoring could give them a huge boost off of the bench throughout the year. Though the performance came in the preseason, his ability to pick up things this quickly bodes well for the team.

Overall, Duarte felt good in his debut game with the Pacers.

“It’s crazy, my first game at Madison (Square) Garden so it felt good,” Duarte said. “I felt good out there, my first time playing in an NBA game. I’m just trying to learn from mistakes and try to learn each and every day.”

Indiana returns to play on Friday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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