Jefferson agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with the Pacers Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports. Jefferson is coming off his least productive season since his second year in the NBA, averaging just 12.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and he also only played in 47 games due to injury. At 31 years old, Jefferson is limited in his effectiveness as a low post player, especially with the league moving towards smaller, faster lineups. The Pacers are one of those teams that wants to play faster around star forward Paul George, so Jefferson will likely play majority of his minutes off the bench next season behind Myles Turner.
Jefferson scored 18 points (8-14 FG, 2-3 FT) while adding nine rebounds and a steal in 30 minutes during Friday's loss to the Heat in Game 6 of their first round series. It's the Hornets' first loss since inserting Jefferson back into the starting lineup. The big man is now averaging 14.8 points, 6.8 boards, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks on the series while shooting 52.6 percent from the floor, but he'll need to come up with one more big performance if they're going to come up with a Game 7 win in Miami on Sunday.
Jefferson will move into the starting lineup for Saturday's Game 3 against Miami. Down 0-2, the Hornets will resort to switching up their starting lineup, inserting Jefferson and Frank Kaminsky in the front court and sending Jeremy Lin and Cody Zeller to the bench. Marvin Williams will shift down to the small forward spot, while Courtney Lee and Kemba Walker comprise the starting backcourt.
Jefferson scored 25 points (12-17 FG, 1-2 FT) to go with seven rebounds, one assist, and one steal in 27 minutes during Wednesday's loss to the Heat. It was a vintage game for Jefferson, who notched his first 20-point playoff game since 2014. He's been up and down after returning from a knee injury, scoring 20 points and grabbing double digit rebounds just four times apiece since the All-Star break. If the Hornets have any chance of climbing back into this series, Big Al is going to need to revert to his former dominance.
Jefferson finished with 26 points (11-15 FG, 4-6 FT), four rebounds, two assists, and one block across 23 minutes during the Hornets' 117-103 win over the Magic on Wednesday. Jefferson has been a beast off the bench lately, averaging 16.4 points (57.8 FG, 80.0 FT), 7.8 rebounds, two assists, and 1.2 steals in 23 minutes per game over the last five contests. Charlotte takes on Miami in round one of the playoffs, and the Heat recently moved Hassan Whiteside into the starting lineup. If that remains the case going forward, Jefferson might be a little bit better off not having to face the league's leader in blocked shots for the overwhelming majority of his minutes.
Last 7 Games
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