Outside of scouts and NBA Draftniks, most people had never heard of Goga Bitadze when the Pacers selected him with the 18th overall pick back in June. However, excitement has built over the past few months, as those that did watch him play have gushed about his skill-set and polish.
After being shelved for visa issues (vs. the Kings in India) and an ankle issue (vs. Chicago), Bitadze finally made his Pacers' debut last night... and it was a stellar performance:
Bitadze's final line: 14 points, 6-9 shooting (2-3 3-pt FG), 4 rebounds in 24 minutes.
For whatever it's worth, he seems to know his way around the court already, which is something you can't always say about rookies, particularly big men. There will be a learning curve, as there is with all first-year players, but you'd have to imagine the Pacers will have a role for Bitadze right away. I'm excited to see his continued growth and development.