As a regular on weekly highlight reels, I guess this could be regarded as a 'break out' season for power forward Josh McRoberts, who was almost traded for OJ Mayo before the trade deadline (as a part of a deal that involved other pieces that weren't exactly divulged) and may not even be a Pacer next season as he is likely to test the market as a free agent.
The athletic 6'10" McRoberts provided more than the Pacers could have hoped for on the offensive end this season. He finished at the rim with some highlight dunks, threw in a few three pointers and even led the occasional fast break with his unusually decent ball-handling skills. For the year he averaged a career high 7.4 points in 22.2 minutes per game, playing in 72 games and starting in 51 of them. When Frank Vogel took over as coach Hansbrough began to start ahead of McRoberts but he still played significant minutes. His season high was a 20 point game in a blowout loss against Chicago in late January.
McRoberts wasn't too shabby in other departments either. He averaged 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists, had 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals per game, all career highs. He also shot 0.547 from the field, a surprising 0.383 from 3-point range (23-60 for the season) and a respectable 0.739 from the line.
Offensively, McRoberts is who he is -- a utility forward who can use his athleticism, ball-handling and passing skills to provide a spark off the bench. Every now and then he will have a good shooting night and put up points in the mid-teens, but it's a stretch to imagine him starting on any playoff teams this year apart from the Pacers. If he continues to work on his game and get more minutes, he could average around 10 points a game, but he will never come close to being an All-Star in the NBA.
Defensively, however, was another story. Even though he is a solid 6'10" and 240 pounds, McRoberts lacked the size and defensive experience to take on the bigger and craftier post players and the quickness of smaller, more athletic forwards. He can grab boards with his leaping ability but isn't a particularly skillful rebounder in the mould of a Jeff Foster. And although he has now played 3 years in the NBA, McRoberts is still just 24 and prone to mental lapses.
Nontheless, McRoberts overachieved in the eyes of many this season. If anything, he was at least entertaining to watch on the break. Will he be a Pacer next season? Judging from the fact that the Pacers used him as trade bait and the fact that he is a useful player to have for many teams, it seems unlikely that he will be back. Will the Pacers really miss his presence? A little bit, I think, but if the Pacers don't acquire a genuine starting calibre power forward during the offseason, it will at least give Tyler Hansbrough more minutes to develop.