Tyreke Evans looks like exactly what the Pacers needed

Last season, the Indiana Pacers were in trouble at any point with Victor Oladipo on the bench. This year, that problem’s been solved by the addition of one player: Tyreke Evans.

The Indiana Pacers had a net rating of 6.0 last year with their All Star on the court. Without him, they had a net rating of -8.2.

In the season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies, Oladipo was +9 in his 25 minutes. In the 23 minutes he was on the bench, the Pacers were even better at +19.

“If there’s no drop-off when they get in the game,” Oladipo said of the second unit, “we could be really special.”  Continue reading Tyreke Evans looks like exactly what the Pacers needed

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Indiana Pacers impose their will on the glass in blowout season opener

Indiana Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan’s focus all training camp was on rebounding. After one game, it appears that it’s already paying major dividends for the blue and gold.

“In training camp, it was a big penalty if you gave up rebounds in the paint,” McMillan said after the Pacers destruction of the Memphis Grizzlies by a final of 111-83. “I gave the other team three points every time you missed a rebound.  It was just a way to get our guys focused on this part of the game. I liked what we did tonight.”

Continue reading Indiana Pacers impose their will on the glass in blowout season opener

Season Preview: 3 Questions and 4 Predictions for the 2018-19 Indiana Pacers

The NBA is back and the Indiana Pacers return tonight in their season opener.

The Eastern Conference is more wide open than it has been in maybe a decade now that you-know-who has taken his talents to the West, but most of the pundits seem to point to the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors as the favorites to get to the NBA Finals.

While most expect the Pacers to finish at about the same spot in the playoffs as last season, they enter the year with an upgraded bench and a returning starting lineup that had so much chemistry in their first year together. Can they surprise the basketball world a second straight season and make some noise in the playoffs? We’re about to find out.

Here’s some of the questions for the team this season with some predictions sprinkled in as well.

Can Victor Oladipo become an MVP candidate?

In the team’s offseason “mini-camp” in Miami, players came back reporting that Victor Oladipo looked like he was going to be even better than the year before. He was the player that guys pointed out as looking highly improved over the summer.

That’s saying something for the winner of the Most Improved Player award.

“I’m still hungry,” Oladipo said this past July. “I think I’m hungrier now than I was when I first got here. I want to be great. I’ve been saying that since I walked into his facility and started being a Pacer. I want to be one of the greatest to ever play this game. Whatever I got to do to do that, I’m going to try my best to try and achieve that and in the process of winning. That’s the goal.”

Continue reading Season Preview: 3 Questions and 4 Predictions for the 2018-19 Indiana Pacers

Reports: Myles Turner and Indiana Pacers agree to extension

In a bit of surprise news, Myles Turner and the Indiana Pacers agreed to a contract extension ahead of today’s 6 p.m. deadline with a 4-year, $72 million deal that could go as high as $80 million with bonuses according to ESPN and The Athletic.

This avoids the Pacers needing to deal with restricted free agency next summer and avoids someone coming in with a mammoth offer to try and pry the big man away from Indiana. And for Turner, it puts to rest any worries about getting his next contract.  Continue reading Reports: Myles Turner and Indiana Pacers agree to extension

Pacers Edmond Sumner is ready for his opportunity

After an impressive preseason for the Indiana Pacers 2-way player, Edmond Sumner could be poised for a big second season if the opportunity comes.

“”Just stay ready,” Sumner said of what the coaching staff has told him of his role. “Whenever my number is called just be ready.”

There might not be minutes for Sumner immediately when the season begins but if any injury to a guard or small forward occurs, it’ll likely be Sumner that steps up.

“It gives us another look with our depth,” said Darren Collison after practice on Saturday. “It’s such a long season that you never know whose going to have an opportunity to perform or play well or go down with injury God forbid. He can step right in and fulfill a role that we might need down the stretch of the season. He can play some point guard, play some two, maybe even some three. I thought he played well.”

Sumner was the first choice for Nate McMillan in the preseason when both Tyreke Evans and Cory Joseph were out with an injury. With Evans’s injury history, having a capable replacement is paramount and Sumner looks up to the task if needed. Continue reading Pacers Edmond Sumner is ready for his opportunity

Victor Oladipo appears on HBO’s The Shop

Victor Oladipo showed up on the second episode of The Shop on HBO, LeBron James’s new show where athletes and celebrities have an open conversation in a barbershop.

The Indiana Pacers star showed off his singing voice to start the show off.

He also talked about his experience over his first four seasons in the league, the struggles in his only season in Oklahoma City and being traded twice in a year.  Continue reading Victor Oladipo appears on HBO’s The Shop

Ben Moore remains on roster as Pacers waive Elijah Stewart and Omari Johnson

The Indiana Pacers announced today that they’ve waived Elijah Stewart and Omari Johnson. This trims down the roster to the required 15 players before Wednesday’s season opener.

Ben Moore is (most likely) the 15th player. It’s possible that this means he made the team but recent history suggests that he could still be waived before the regular season opener.

Last season, the Pacers decided that instead of keeping Jarrod Uthoff, who was in a similar position to Moore at this time last year, as the 15th man, they would keep that roster spot open to start the regular season to have flexibility in case they wanted to add someone down the line.  Continue reading Ben Moore remains on roster as Pacers waive Elijah Stewart and Omari Johnson

Preseason Takeaways: Pacers look ready for the regular season against Cavaliers

The Indiana Pacers won their third preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-102. As said previously, the results don’t really matter but not everything from these preseason games is without value.

This game was an entertaining one from the start. Here are some takeaways that we can look for when the regular season starts in just 9 days.  Continue reading Preseason Takeaways: Pacers look ready for the regular season against Cavaliers

Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

The Indiana Pacers lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in their second preseason game last night, but the result of the exhibition match doesn’t matter. With the Pacers resting all five starters, it was a chance for the young guys to get lots of minutes and show whether or not they belonged, and it was an opportunity for the bench unit to develop some chemistry with each other.

Here’s what we learned from Game 2:

Tyreke Evans and Domas Sabonis pick and rolls will be a delight:

These two have quickly developed a rapport on these type of plays in practice and it showed in their first game action together. Domas Sabonis repeatedly got great looks at the basket thanks to Tyreke Evans’s patience on the play, waiting until the right moment to make a quick pass to the Lithuanian big man.

Sabonis struggled to finish many of these looks but finished with an impressive 17 points (7 of 18) and 14 rebounds in only 21 minutes. Evans struggled to make shots as well but still finished with 12 points (3 for 11), 6 rebounds and 3 assists. It should be a blast watching these two run the pick and roll all season.

Evans had some chemistry miscues early with expecting players to go one way and going another or not being ready for a pass from Sabonis but it was good to get those kind of mistakes out of the way in preseason.

Continue reading Preseason Takeaways: Lessons from Pacers overtime loss to Grizzlies

What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

Drawing conclusions from a preseason game is dubious, but after the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets (110-100), we can all agree on one thing: it’s good to have Pacers basketball back.

Though much of the preseason is meaningless there are still a few takeaways that could be meaningful once the games actually matter.

Edmond Sumner looks like an NBA player

Easily the highlight of the game for Indiana was the play of their second-year, two-way contract guard Edmond Sumner.

Sumner filled in for Tyreke Evans, who missed the game with a sprained ankle and played 19 minutes that showed off his athleticism and potential.

Sumner played Evans’s role well and made some impressive drives to the rim throughout the game. His biggest highlight a dunk along the baseline in the first half as he got his first poster of his NBA career.  Continue reading What mattered in the Indiana Pacers preseason win over the Houston Rockets

Pacers Victor Oladipo wants to start a campaign to be in Space Jam 2

Indiana Pacers star guard Victor Oladipo wants to be in the Space Jam sequel.

“Yes, let’s start a campaign,” said Oladipo at media day when asked about his desire to be a Monstar in the LeBron James-led Space Jam sequel. “Let’s make this happen. I would be a crazy Monstar. I think that would be pretty dope.”

Oladipo wants a campaign. Let’s give him a campaign.

It may have helped his case if he said one of the four movies he watched every night before going to sleep was Space Jam instead of Home Alone 1 & 2, Shrek or Mulan, but I digress.

The first step to any online campaign has to be the hashtag, so here are some possibilities:  Continue reading Pacers Victor Oladipo wants to start a campaign to be in Space Jam 2

Indiana Pacers chemistry only getting stronger with new acquisitions

The Indiana Pacers greatest strength last season may have been their chemistry and to this point it looks like it’s only improved over the offseason.

“You know it when you see it,” Myles Turner said of the team’s chemistry after the first training camp practice. “You just feel it.”

Indiana hasn’t played a game yet and you can feel it already. Whether it’s the above picture from media day with most of the returning players laughing together or Bojan Bogdanovic giving Victor Oladipo a huge hug when he first saw him.

Last season was the first year the majority of the team had been with the Pacers as they quickly grew a unique bond. With most of the core contributors returning from last year’s roster, Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard thinks those relationships will continue to grow.

Continue reading Indiana Pacers chemistry only getting stronger with new acquisitions

Managing Expectations: Is this the year it all comes together for Myles Turner?

Myles Turner put in work this summer to be ready for this upcoming season with the Indiana Pacers.

Whether he was doing yoga with Domantas Sabonis, working on his strength in the weight room, boxing on a gym floor, playing 1-on-1 after team USA practice with Kevin Durant, Paul George, Devin Booker and Victor Oladipo or showing off some impressive skills in pick-up games with Monta Ellis, that much has been clear; he’s been productive this offseason.

Now, it’s almost time to see how his labors will translate to the court as training camp quickly approaches.

Last year at this time, it was widely expected that Turner would be set for a much bigger role offensively, but Oladipo became a superstar while Turner’s statistical output per game went down in almost all categories as he struggled to find a rhythm through a series of small injuries while playing less minutes per game than in his second season.

Continue reading Managing Expectations: Is this the year it all comes together for Myles Turner?

Report: Trevor Booker nears deal to play in China

Trevor Booker becomes the latest Pacers free agent to join a team in the Chinese Basketball Association according to a report from Alex Kennedy.

The deal with the Brave Dragons isn’t finalized yet but it’s likely that three members of the Indiana Pacers 2017-18 roster will be playing in China next season.

Al Jefferson and Joe Young will also play in China next season.  Continue reading Report: Trevor Booker nears deal to play in China

Indiana Pacers add C.J. Wilcox with 2-way contract

The Indiana Pacers have filled their remaining 2-way contract slot with a wing with some NBA experience in C.J. Wilcox.

Wilcox played for the Pacers in Las Vegas during Summer League and shot the ball very well throughout the team’s five games. He averaged 9.2 points per game and shot 56% from the floor.

He has three seasons of NBA playing experience and 66 games played in the NBA overall between time spent with the Clippers and Magic. He’s played sparingly every season and averages just 2 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in his career.  Continue reading Indiana Pacers add C.J. Wilcox with 2-way contract

ESPN: Nate McMillan finalizing contract extension with the Indiana Pacers

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Indiana Pacers and Nate McMillan are finalizing a contract extension. McMillan has one year remaining on his contract currently.

McMillan coached the Indiana Pacers to a surprising season last year as they exceeded all reasonable expectations and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to the brink of elimination in the first round of the playoffs.  Continue reading ESPN: Nate McMillan finalizing contract extension with the Indiana Pacers

Joe Young agrees to play in China next season

Joe Young has decided to go to China next season and will play for the Nanjing Tongxi Basketball Club.

Young said that he was only offered 2-way contracts by NBA teams and decided to take the more lucrative offer with the international option.  Continue reading Joe Young agrees to play in China next season

JJ Redick nearly joined the Indiana Pacers

On his most recent podcast, JJ Redick said that he was very close to joining the Indiana Pacers in free agency.

“I almost signed with Indy,” Redick said. “I was an hour away, maybe two hours away … I had a whole conversation with Nate McMillan.”

Redick said that his current team the Philadelphia 76ers changed their offer before a deadline he had to decide on a deal with Indiana and he decided to stay put.

If Redick would have signed with the Pacers, it likely would have meant that Tyreke Evans would not have joined the team.  Continue reading JJ Redick nearly joined the Indiana Pacers

Pacers rookie Alize Johnson buys his mother new car

It appears Alize Johnson has made his first big purchase after signing his rookie contract with the Indiana Pacers: a new car for his mother.

In an Instagram post, you can see his mother’s reaction.  Continue reading Pacers rookie Alize Johnson buys his mother new car

Roy Hibbert says it’s “time to move on” from NBA

2-time All-Star Roy Hibbert appears to be done playing basketball telling TMZ Sports that “it’s just time to move on.”

Hibbert, 31, didn’t play last season and his name hasn’t popped up in rumor mills all offseason. He last played in the NBA during the 2016-17 season for the Denver Nuggets.

“I’m good on that,” he said when asked if he would want to play with LeBron James in Los Angeles, saying that he wasn’t training at the moment and felt like it was time to move on from basketball.  Continue reading Roy Hibbert says it’s “time to move on” from NBA

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