Pacers sign forward Oshae Brissett to 10-day contract

The Indiana Pacers signed forward Oshae Brissett to a 10-day contract today.

A 6-7 forward in his second professional season out of Syracuse University, Brissett recently completed the 2021 G League season as a member of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ affiliate in the NBA G League. Brissett appeared in 19 games for the Toronto Raptors during his rookie season in 2019-20.

The Pacers are 21-25 this season, which is the 9th best record in the Eastern conference.

Pacers’ T.J. Warren will not return until next season

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday that T.J. Warren will be out for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

Warren underwent surgery on January 5 to repair a small left navicular stress fracture.

The Pacers are just 20-23 this season, which is the 9th best record in the Eastern conference.

Their leading scorers in 2020-21 are Malcolm Brogdon at 21.4 points per game, Domantas Sabonis at 20.1 ppg, Caris LeVert at 16.7 ppg (in 7 games played for the Pacers so far), and Warren at 15.5 ppg (in just 4 games played).

Caris LeVert and Pacers set to face Nets

Caris LeVert showed great promise as a young NBA talent coming up with the Nets. His NBA journey resumes now that he recently made a successful Pacers debut. Via the NY Daily News:

Caris LeVert has recovered from his kidney surgery in time to give the Nets a blast from the past. The Nets traded LeVert to the Rockets in the James Harden trade, and when the Rockets subsequently traded him to Indiana for Victor Oladipo, the Pacers discovered a cancerous growth on his kidney.

LeVert returned on the two-month anniversary of his diagnosis and has played in both of the Pacers’ last two games. He scored 13 points in his Indiana debut then scored 17 points in his new team’s Monday loss to the Nuggets.

LeVert, who is starting in Indiana, will host a very different Nets team on Wednesday than the one that traded him, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs and seven years worth of draft assets in a megadeal earlier this season.

Through two games for the Pacers so far, LeVert put up 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 28.0 minutes per outing.

Cassius Stanley gets Slam Dunk contest advice from Victor Oladipo

Pacers guard Cassius Stanley will be competing in this year’s Slam Dunk content. It’s always smart for young players to seek veteran advice, whether about regular basketball or throwing down dunks, and that’s reportedly what the rookie is doing. Via the Indianapolis Star:

With Cassius Stanley set to compete in his first NBA dunk contest Sunday during halftime of the All-Star Game, he sought the advice of a contest veteran: 2015 and ’18 competitor and former teammate Victor Oladipo.

“He really just told me, ‘Don’t wear yourself out before the Dunk contest,'” Stanley said of Oladipo. “Obviously, you want to go in there confident knowing the dunks you can make, but also know that if you miss some dunks in practice, your adrenaline is going to be so high that you’re going to jump higher.”

It’ll be a condensed All-Star Weekend this year, with all events taking place in a single day. Sunday should be loads of fun.

Domantas Sabonis picked as injury replacement for Kevin Durant in 2021 NBA All-Star game

Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis has been named by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to replace injured Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Sunday, March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

Earlier today, the Nets announced that Durant will be out through the All-Star break. It’s presumed that this is mostly for precautionary reasons.

Pacers break losing streak with win over Pistons

It’s been a little while, but the Pacers are back in the win column. Via the Indianapolis Star:

It didn’t matter it was against the previously 6-18 Detroit Pistons. Nate Bjorkgren’s Pacers would have taken a win against anyone, in the middle of their longest losing streak since a first-round sweep at the hands of the Miami Heat in Orlando last summer.

In the middle of Indiana’s three-game trip, and on the back-end of a back-to-back, the Pacers recovered from the kind of slow start that has plagued them of late to knock off the Pistons 111-95 on the heels of big games from their three stars.

All three just missed the mark on double-doubles: Domantas Sabonis finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-for-14 shooting, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. Malcolm Brogdon followed with 18 points and nine rebounds while also adding a pair of 3s. Myles Turner finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, coming off a three-point, three-rebound game in Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn.

A bright spot for Detriot in the loss was the play of undersized 6-foot-8 center Isaiah Stewart, who shot 8 of 9 for 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Pacers fall to Nets for 4th straight loss

The Pacers are in a rut lately. Via the Indianapolis Star:

Exactly seven days ago, the Indiana Pacers trailed by 40 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Wednesday, they had season-lows for first-quarter points (18), points in a half (30) and trailed by 36 in what became a 104-94 loss at the Brooklyn Nets to open a three-game trip.

The difference was Milwaukee, which has had the conference’s best record the previous two seasons, played well. The Nets, one of the league’s worst defensive teams, didn’t. And they didn’t have Kevin Durant.

The Pacers (12-13) were just that bad. Yet again.

They played late into the shot clock, had two violations in the first quarter and there wasn’t anything special that the Nets did to earn those turnovers.

The Pacers have a young star shooting guard in Caris LeVert. But after being traded by the Nets to Indiana, a health issue has prevented him from making his Pacer debut, and it’s unclear when his return to action will be.

But there’s no time to rest. Up next for the 12-13 squad is a game in Detroit tomorrow against the Pistons, who just yesterday handed a Nets squad that was without Kevin Durant a loss.

Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno resigns, for personal and health reasons

Indiana Pacers assistant coach Bill Bayno is resigning for personal and health reasons, the team announced Monday.

“I appreciate the impact Coach Bayno has had on our players and the Pacers organization over the last five years,” said Pacers Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren. “All of us at the Pacers wish him the very best as he transitions to his next chapter.”

According to ESPN.com, “Bayno has privately described a need to step away from the pressures and workload of the NBA grind amid the pandemic, especially in the aftermath of several personal losses, including the loss of both his parents.”

Pacers center Myles Turner day-to-day with small fracture in hand

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner has an avulsion fracture in his right hand and is listed as day-to-day. The injury is stable and will not require surgery.

Turner is having a very good season, and is leading the NBA with 4.2 blocks per game.

The Pacers are 8-5 so far this season. They are being led in scoring by Malcolm Brogdon at 22.2 points per game, Domantas Sabonis at 21.7 ppg and T.J. Warren at 15.5 ppg. They recently traded Victor Oladipo in a four-team trade that brought back Caris LeVert, but an exam of LeVert revealed a growth on his kidney, a health concern that will keep LeVert out of action indefinitely.