Bahamian professional basketball player with the Indiana Pacers Chavano “Buddy” Hield is picking up where he left off from 2022, turning in two efficient performances in the Pacers’ two games so far in 2023.
The sharpshooting guard of the Pacers was named as The Nassau Guardian’s Senior Male Athlete of the Year for 2022, and already this year, he is making a case for that honor for 2023. In two games in 2023, Hield is averaging 21.5 points per game on 48.5 percent shooting from the field. The National Basketball Association (NBA) leader in made three-pointers this season has sunk 10 three-pointers in two games for the Pacers in 2023, and is shooting a blistering 47.6 percent from three-point range.
For the season, going into last night’s games, Hield had 152 made three-pointers, 18 more than the next person on the list – Donavan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was against the Cavs at the end of 22, when Hield broke a record for fastest three-point shot in the play-by-play era of the NBA. He secured the opening tip and quickly spun and launched a shot from distance that hit nothing but net. The shot occurred in just three seconds, breaking the record of four seconds that stood for 22 years. The Pacers won that game, 135-126, with Hield scoring 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field.
Coincidentally, it was Pacers’ legend Reggie Miller who held the old record, launching a three-point shot four seconds into a game against the Golden State Warriors on March 5, 2000. Play-by-play has been recorded in the NBA since the 1996-97 season.
Hield finished a torrid 5-for-6 from distance in that game, and hasn’t cooled down since. In fact, Hield is shooting a ridiculous 54.33 percent (69-for-127) from distance in his last 15 games, the top percentage in the league during that span for that volume of shots.
In short, Hield is on fire. He is having one of the best shooting spurts of his career. For the season Hield’s average is up to 18.1 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field. His recent tear has improved his three-point shooting percentage to 42.9 percent which is a career-best for him. Among the league leaders, he is third among those with at least 200 attempts. Just Stephen Curry of the Warriors and Jerami Grant of the Portland Trail Blazers are ahead of him. Seven-year player Hield, now 30, is also averaging 4.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.
In his most recent performance, against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, Hield played 41 minutes and finished with a side-high 24 points on 9-for-22 shooting. He was 6-for-14 from distance and added nine rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block. The Pacers lost that game, 129-126, in overtime and are tied for sixth in the Eastern Conference of the NBA with a 21-18 win/loss record. They are one of the surprise teams in the league this year, just five and a half games behind the league-leading Boston Celtics (26-12).
Hield and the Pacers will host the Blazers at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, this evening.