Indiana Pacers center Jalen Smith discussed the impact Andrew Nembhard is making on both ends following Monday’s 112-104 road win vs. the Golden State Warriors where the rookie guard exploded for 31 points, 8 rebounds, 13 assists, 1 steal, and 5 made three-pointers.
(via Indiana Pacers):
Reporter: “What role did Andrew [Nembhard] have in being that calming influence when times were tough?”
Smith: “It was amazing. For him to be a rookie in a big time spot like that, to control the offense like that, and just control the team, it shows a lot. We’re just grateful to have him. Obviously, we had TJ [McConnell] out sick, Ty [Haliburton] is hurt, and for him to step up like that is big time.”
Reporter: “A week ago, he’s guarding LeBron James. Tonight, he’s running around chasing Steph [Curry]. So a lot will talk about his offense, but what about his defense?”
Smith: “Drew is one of the toughest people on this team. We know how gritty he is and how much he wants that competition, and how much he wants that matchup. We know he’s a great defender. We knew what he was going to do. So it wasn’t shocking.”