Pacers reportedly taking small steps towards using practice facility

Some NBA teams are taking small steps towards increasing the use of their training facilities, in very limited fashion.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers:

The Indiana Pacers are starting to get players back at St. Vincent Center, a league source tells IndyStar, though most staff hasn’t been cleared to enter the building.

A return to business as usual is still a ways off, as are full practices.

“Full team activities will not resume without express permission from the NBA, and only in compliance with the executive orders issued by the State and the City or other clearance,” the Pacers said in a recent statement. “After consulting with the Mayor’s Office and their subsequent discussion with health officials, players can begin regulated individual therapy and training … while adhering to government and NBA guidance on social distancing and other health guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. Currently, we are following testing guidelines laid out by the State of Indiana.”

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon now fully healed

There’s no pro basketball about to be played anytime soon, but here’s some good news on the Pacers front from the Indianapolis Star:

Malcolm Brogdon is ready to go if the NBA season resumes. Saturday, the Indiana Pacers posted a video from their starting point guard on their social media accounts that he’s fully healed from a hip/thigh injury that kept him out the last three games before the hiatus because of COVID-19.

“I’m doing great. I’ve been doing as much as I can under this quarantine but I’m 100%,” Brogdon said in the video. “I’ve been on my Peleton bike and I’ve been running hills in my backyard.”

The Pacers were 39-26 when league play was put on hold in mid March.

Pacers salary cap situation looks to be in good shape

When the NBA season paused, the Pacers were 39-26, which ties them with the Sixers for the 5th best record in the Eastern conference. Impressive, especially considering guard Victor Oladipo had just recently returned to action, and in 13 games played wasn’t up to his usual standards just yet.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on their salary cap situation:

No one knows where the NBA is heading because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but what’s clear is the projected $115 million salary cap could shift downward as teams are preparing for the worst-case scenarios. The Indiana Pacers, who have the 27th highest payroll of the league’s 30 teams, are expected to drop to the league’s lowest payroll.

That’s because the Pacers have received $10 million insurance on Victor Oladipo, a league source tells IndyStar. Oladipo tore his right quad knee tendon in January 2019 and missed most of the season. He returned this season past the midway point to appear in 13 games.

The Pacers’ cap number is $114.6 million for 2019-20 and they’re positioned to come in at $104.6 million due to Oladipo’s injury, well below the current 30th payroll of the Atlanta Hawks ($112.3 million).

There is no reason to expect the NBA to resume play anytime soon, as the world focuses on fighting coronavirus. Hopefully in the coming weeks, that view may begin to change.

Pacers reportedly taking measured approach to coronavirus

The coronavirus updates continue, now with the Pacers. The team hasn’t issued a statement. They have no reason to, yet.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart revealed Thursday night that he has tested positive the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The Indiana Pacers’ last regular-season game before the league suspended operations was a March 3 home loss to the Celtics.

But the Indiana Pacers aren’t getting their players tested unless they have symptoms, a league source tells IndyStar, given the limited number of tests available.

The team had been giving daily checkups to players since the outbreak but they’ve dispersed during the hiatus.

The players are probably under self-quarantine, in which case it is perfectly responsible for them to stay at home and avoid contact with others, while hopefully not experiencing any symptoms.

Here’s to hoping the number of players, and of course people everywhere, begins to level off.

More minutes coming for Pacers guard Victor Oladipo

You’re about to start seeing more of Victor Oladipo.

Well, that’s assuming you watch Pacers games. Which you should, because they’re good.

Okay, lately they haven’t been good, winning just three of their last 10 games. Still, overall this season, they’re a solid squad.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan said Wednesday that Victor Oladipo is no longer on a minutes restriction. The guard will continue to skip the second game of back-to-backs, however, as he continues his recovery from the knee injury that caused him to miss the first 47 games this season.

“The doctors have cleared him,” McMillan said. “No restrictions as far as minutes, but we’re going to be smart about it. I can play him as many minutes as I want, but we’ll look at how he comes out of those games with increased minutes and adjust accordingly.

The Pacers are 32-23 this seaso, good for 6th in the Eastern conference.

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo plans to return on January 29

Indiana Pacers star shooting guard Victor Oladipo plans to return to action on Wednesday, January 29 for the team’s home game against the Chicago Bulls.

The news came in the form of a video from Oladipo himself that the team shared on social media.

Oladipo’s hasn’t played since January 23, 2019, in a Pacers win against the Raptors. He played 10 minutes, scoring four points, before leaving with injury. Just over a year later, he’ll be making his return from an injury that was reportedly a ruptured quadriceps tendon in his right knee.

The Pacers are already having a very good season. They have a 23-14 record, and have gotten terrific play from offseason addition Malcolm Brogdon. Power forward Domantas Sabonis has emerged as a serious force. And T.J. Warren is scoring in very efficient fashion. It’ll be worth seeing how the Pacers play through early to mid February as they adjust to having Oladipo back in the mix.

Heat beat Pacers, improve record to 23-8

Despite the Pacers missing point guard Malcolm Brogdon, while awaiting the eventual return of shooting guard Victor Oladipo, Friday’s matchup between the Pacers and Heat was still an anticipated battle worth watching. The game proved worthy of attention. Here’s the Miami Herald reporting:

In a game that included 20 lead changes and eight ties, the Heat (23-8) survived to defeat the Indiana Pacers 113-112 on Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena. Miami improved to 14-1 at home this season, and 23-8 marks its best 31-game start to a season since starting 24-7 in 2013-14.

With the Heat trailing by one with less than a minute to play, guard Goran Dragic made a 9-foot game-winning floater with 6.8 seconds remaining. Offensive rebounds from Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler kept Miami’s final offensive possession alive before Dragic hit the shot.

In the win, the Heat had six players put up double-digit points. They were led by Jimmy Butler’s 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Bam Adebayo’s 18 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, Duncan Robinson’s 18 points, and Kendrick Nunn’s 17 points.

The Pacers had seven players score double-digits, and put up a respectable effort.

Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon okay to play Sunday vs Bucks

Sunday at 7 p.m. ET, the Indiana Pacers hit the road for a trip to Milwaukee. It’s an especially big game for Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon, whose first three NBA seasons were with the Bucks. But this summer came big money and a nice role with the Pacers, so Brogdon got himself a new squad, and it’s actually worked out well for both teams.

As for Brogdon’s health status, here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Malcolm Brogdon will take the taped-up fingers on his right hand if it means he can be on the court for his Milwaukee homecoming on Sunday.

After the Pacers starting point guard dislocated his right pinkie and tore a ligament in it earlier this month, he’s been forced to wear surgical tape stabilizing it with his right ring finger, and the traditionally laser-focused Brogdon said it’s been giving him fits on the court the past two weeks.

“It’s definitely something I notice when I’m on the court, but I feel like I’ve been able to do the best I can with it,” he said. “People here have been playing with all types of injuries that the media or other people don’t know about. It’s just something minor.”

The game is worth watching. Even as the Pacers continue to await the eventual return of start shooting guard Victor Oladipo.

 

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Myles Turner adjusting to changing role with Pacers

The Pacers have been a success story this season, which is impressive considering they are still awaiting the return to action of shooting guard Victor Oladipo. A key development this year has been a change in the squad’s frontcourt, and one that definitely affects Myles Turner. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Being defended by smaller players because he’s now sharing the starting lineup with Domantas Sabonis, he’s not just posting and having his number called. It’s how he’s posting up.

No longer do most of his looks in the offense come via the pick-and-roll (or pop). That’s for Sabonis, who is being defended by the slower players at his position on offense at the 5. Turner, listed as the center, is being defended by 4s and offensively faces up better. His defenders are now mostly quicker, smaller and more laterally capable.

When Malcolm Brogdon or T.J. McConnell call for a ball screen, they want slow-footed Alex Len (Hawks) who’d be defending Sabonis or Daniel Theis (Celtics) or Nik Vucevic (Magic). They wouldn’t call for Turner, who’d be defended by John Collins (when he returns from suspension for the Hawks) in that scenario, or Jaylen Brown (Celtics) or Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac (Magic).

The Pacers haven’t gotten much attention this season but they’ve played as well as many of the East’s best squads. Especially on the defensive side of the floor – and Turner is a big part of that.

Malcolm Brogdon back quickly for Pacers

The Pacers have a big game tonight, and they reportedly will have point guard Malcolm Brodgon active for the event. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Malcolm Brogdon is set to return to the Pacers just in time for the team’s toughest two-game stretch to this point in the season.

Brogdon sat out the Pacers’ 104-103 victory over the Knicks due to an injury to his right pinkie finger. The Pacers’ point guard said he dislocated the finger and tore a ligament in it after hitting it off the shoe of Pistons guard Langston Galloway. Brogdon finished that game with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists.

However, Brogdon said he is confident that he will be able to play Monday night against the Clippers. His time off in New York was a product of “pain balance.”

Brogdon has been a big part of the Pacers (15-8) success this season. He leads the team in scoring at 19.0 points per game and in assists at 7.7 per game.