Croatian wing Bojan Bogdanovic has stepped up nicely after the Indiana Pacers lost Victor Oladipo to injury in late January.
Since their star player went down, Indiana has won six games and lost four. Their net rating (4.1) during this stretch currently ranks Top 5 in the Eastern Conference. Bogdanovic has played a huge role in this success, averaging a team-high 20.0 points per game since January 23. He even took home East’s Player of the Week.
The 29-year-old Bogdanovic is averaging 21.2 points per 36 minutes during the 910 minutes he has played without Oladipo so far this season. His usage rate is currently 24.3 percent in those minutes. Indiana is outscoring opponents by 4.3 points per 100 with Bogdanovic but not Oladipo on the court, per NBAWowy.
For comparison, Bogdanovic played alongside Oladipo for 902 minutes and was averaging 16.7 points per 36 minutes. His usage rate was much lower at 19.8 percent, per RotoGrinders. He is significantly more than a spot-up scorer for Oladipo.
The Pacers currently have a positive net rating (5.9) during 555 minutes with their most-used starting five playing at the same time. But it’s actually been better (9.9) during the 420 minutes the same four-man group of Myles Turner, Darren Collison, Thaddeus Young and Bogdanovic have appeared without Oladipo.
So what makes Bogdanovic such an impressive figure for Indiana? Perhaps most important has been his recent hot streak from three-point range.
Bogdanovic has made more than half of his attempts on corner three-pointers this year. That ranks in the best possible percentile among all players in the NBA, per Cleaning the Glass.
Scouting reports indicate that Bogdanovic has been ridiculously efficient as the ballhandler in a pick-and-roll offense.
The wing has averaged 1.17 points per possession on this play type so far this season. That ranks as the best among all players who have completed at least 65 pick-and-roll possessions as the ballhandler, per Synergy Sports.
Additionally, Bogdanovic has helped the Pacers be one of the league leaders in scoring off screens. He has scored 218 points on this play type, currently ranking No. 4 overall behind only Golden State Warriors backcourt duo Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry as well as Brooklyn’s Joe Harris.
He has also been one of the most prolific scorers in transition, putting up 225 points. According to Synergy, that ranks No. 18 among everyone in the NBA this season.
With the signing of Wesley Matthews (who will be in the mix for the rest of the year) and the impressive play from Bogdanovic, the Pacers now once again have the depth to compete in the East as they prepare for the postseason.