Just before the Pacers played the Heat on Monday night, in what was the lowest scoring game between two teams this season, the team foreshadowed the bad loss with some bad news: rookie forward Kendall Brown has been diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right tibia and will be out indefinitely.
According to the team, he will be reevaluated in two weeks (December 26).
Brown, who is signed to a two-way contract after being selected 48th overall in the draft, played his first non-garbage time minutes of the season for the Pacers during the team’s recent west coast road trip, entering the game as the first sub off the bench against the Golden State Warriors when Aaron Nesmith got into early foul trouble.
The Baylor product also saw early-game action against the Minnesota Timberwolves, defending Jordan McLaughlin at the point of attack before picking up a flagrant foul against Rudy Gobert while boxing out at the free throw line.
For the season, Brown has logged 40 minutes across six total appearances with the Pacers, during which he has showcased his knack for touch passes and ability to switch across positions. Tellingly, when he was on the floor against the Warriors, he was defended mainly by Steph Curry, who was able to avoid defending pick-and-roll actions while also keeping at least one foot in the paint and still being able to closeout.
Brown has also spent some time in the G League with the Fort Wayne Mads, averaging 11.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in five games while shooting 44 percent overall and knocking down six of his 14 attempts from three.
With Chris Duarte expected to play in games for the Mad Ants on rehab assignment this week, Brown wasn’t as likely to have as many opportunities with the Pacers as the roster approaches being nearer to full strength, but now he also won’t be getting reps with Fort Wayne for the time being, as rest is likely the best treatment to avoid a more serious injury.
Before Brown is reevaluated in two weeks, Fort Wayne plays two games against the Wisconsin Herd on Wednesday and Friday.