Hansbrough: Next Year's Gallinari
- By: Charlie Zegers
- On: 3/19/2010 1:00:00 PM
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Tyler Hansbrough's rookie season has been, in a word, miserable.
He missed the first two weeks of the season recovering from a shin injury suffered last summer, played liminted minutes in late November, and was just starting to hit his stride when he took a nasty hit to the head in a game against the Celtics. Since then, he's missed all but four of the Pacers' games, sidelined by what the team has been calling an inner-ear infection but people are starting suspect was a concussion.
It would be far too easy to call Psycho-T a bust at this point.
Easy and incorrect. Yes, his rookie season has been marred by injury. But when he did play, he produced pretty decent numbers -- on a per-40 minute basis, he was just shy of a 20-and-10 pace, posting per-40 averages of 19.3 points and 10.8 boards. And he posted those numbers while working his way back into shape after that shin problem, adapting to the NBA game without the benefit of training camp.
The Pacers will likely have a different look next season, as players like Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford and Jeff Foster hit the final year of their contracts and become much more move-able. Assuming he's healthy, he could have a very significant role and be a good buy for next season -- much like another first-round bust that didn't play much as a rookie, New York's Danilo Gallinari.