Like most players, 76ers power forward Dario Saric prefers to be in the starting lineup. But Saric knows that with that comes more pressure to produce.
"Some players fail in the situation," he said after Friday morning's shoot-around. "I just think about how to help the team, how to do my part of the job and try to get the team a win."
Saric is scheduled to make his fourth consecutive start Friday night against the Indiana Pacers at Wells Fargo Center. He came off the bench in the first five games of the season.
The second-year player has had mixed results as a starter. He averaged 13 points and made 6 of 13 three-pointers in his first two starts. However, Saric struggled Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. The 23-year-old finished with five points on 1-for-9 shooting.
Saric missed his first two shots before scoring on a 27-foot three-pointer with 8:42 left in the first quarter. That was his lone shooting highlight, as he missed his final six attempts. He became frustrated after missing the two early layups. That frustration kind of took him mentally out of the game.
"For some professional players that play this kind of game, that cannot happen," he said of the missed layups.
Now, he's focused on helping the Sixers (4-4) beat the Pacers (5-3) and erasing memories of his last performance. This time, Saric plans to just focus on his next shot attempt regardless of what happened with the previous one.
"That shot that you miss, you cannot get back," he said. "That's one of my ideas how to think. I hope that it shows right away."
Thing are much different from when Saric was the go-to player in the starting lineup at the end of last season. At the time, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were out with injuries and J.J. Redick was a Los Angeles Clipper. This season, Saric has had to blend with those three players.
"So my situation with the team is a little bit different," he said. "So I have to make some adjustment on that and go play every day."