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Top five point guards in Indiana Pacers history
Qualifiers: the Indiana Pacers have more than 40 years of history in the ABA and NBA, so players should have at least two seasons with the team. Also, players will be classified under one position even if they played at more than one.
Four-time All-Star Freddie Lewis was the backcourt leader for the Indiana Pacers' three ABA Championship teams. Lewis averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game during his prime years with the Pacers from their inaugural 1967-68 season through 1973-74. He was one of the ABA's top ten career leaders in a number of categories with 11,660 points, 2,883 assists, 275 threes and 3,063 free throws made.
New Golden State Warriors' head coach Mark Jackson ran the point for the Pacers during their most successful years in the NBA. Jackson and the Pacers went to the conference finals four times in six seasons and to the only NBA Finals appearance in team history in 2000. He averaged 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 8.1 assists during his stint in Indiana and he is the only Pacer to record more than 3,000 assists in fewer than ten seasons with the team. Over 17 seasons, the former All-Star totaled 10,334 assists, the third most in NBA history.
Former ABA and NBA All-Star Don Buse developed into a great two-way player for the Pacers from 1972 to 1977. During Indiana's last year in the ABA, Buse led the league in assists and steals. Then in Indiana's first year in the NBA, Buse led his new league in assists in steals. He earned six First Team All-Defensive selections between the two leagues and won a championship with the Pacers as a rookie in 1973. Buse averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals in 539 games with the Pacers.
Longtime Pacers point guard Vern Fleming spent 11 of his 12 NBA seasons in Indiana from 1984 to 1995. Fleming was a solid defender and a good finisher at the rim. After making the difficult transition from college shooting guard to NBA point guard, he started for Indiana for his first seven seasons. He averaged 13.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.3 steals during those seven years and totaled 9,535 points and 4,038 assists overall in 816 games with the Pacers.
In spite of his faults, Jamaal Tinsley was one of the most talented point guards to ever play for the Pacers. Tinsley was a world class ball-handler who could cross up any defender. He helped the Pacers reach a franchise record 61 wins in 2003-04. Tinsley averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 398 games with the Pacers from 2001 to 2008.
Indiana Pacers Franchise Index, Basketball-Reference.com
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