Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

The Indiana Pacers are about to add a lot of scoring to their backcourt. Will it be efficient scoring? We’ll see. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Pacers, Monta Ellis agree to deal

Free agent guard Monta Ellis and the Indiana Pacers have agreed to a four-year deal worth $44 million on Thursday, a league source confirmed.

The deal also gives Ellis, 29, a player option in the fourth year, the source confirmed. Chris Broussard of ESPN was first to report the agreement. The Pacers reportedly beat out several other teams interested in Ellis, who has averaged 19.3 points and 4.8 assists over his 10-year career…

On Wednesday, Ellis and his wife arrived in Indianapolis and later in the night, met with Pacers executives Larry Bird, Kevin Pritchard and head coach Frank Vogel.

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

Paul George return date: Tomorrow!

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday that All-Star guard Paul George would be available to play Sunday when the Pacers host the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6:00 p.m.).

George has missed the entire season after breaking his right leg during an intra-squad exhibition game at Las Vegas last August while practicing with Team USA as it prepared for the World Cup of basketball competition.

“The recovery has been a long process and this is another step in the process,” said George, a two-time NBA All-Star and the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2012-13. “I thank everyone, my family, friends, doctors, our training staff, coaches, the entire Pacers’ family for their support and encouragement. I’m excited, but at the same time I’m aware I’m still in a rehab stage and will continue to work to get back to full strength.”

“We’re happy to have Paul back in uniform, and this is just another step in his rehabilitation from the injury,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has worked hard to get to this point and still has work to do, but it’s a positive step toward what we hope will be a full recovery at some point. His minutes will be limited in games he plays as we evaluate his progress moving forward.”

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

The 30-38 Indiana Pacers could receive a big boost in the very near future. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Paul George may return soon for Pacers

The Indiana Pacers are targeting the next week for Paul George’s season debut, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

The team was considering bringing back George as early as Saturday’s home game against the Nets, but after the Pacers fell to the Cavs 95-92 on Friday night, coach Frank Vogel said George would not face Brooklyn.

A Pacers official said the team plans to update George’s status Monday.

The Pacers repeatedly have refrained from publicly putting a timetable on George as he’s progressed in his long recovery from a broken leg suffered in a Team USA intrasquad scrimmage in August.

Road to playoffs about to get tougher for Pacers

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers, who have played excellent basketball for a long stretch of time and have their eye on the postseason:

The Indiana Hoosiers aren’t hearing Brad Stevens’ footsteps. The Indiana Pacers are.

It is not only Stevens’ Boston Celtics creeping up on the Pacers, though. Indiana, Boston and Miami are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference at 30-36. Charlotte, which was to play the Los Angeles Clippers late Tuesday night, was a half-game behind at 29-36.

No more than two of those four — Indiana, Miami, Boston, Charlotte — will make the NBA playoffs.

The once-moderate schedule confronting the Pacers? That’s over…

The combined winning percentage of the Pacers’ remaining opponents is .512. Of the six teams with a realistic shot at the No. 7 and 8 playoff spots, only the Brooklyn Nets (.523) have it tougher. But Brooklyn, which visits the Pacers on Saturday, has 11 home games out of 17 remaining; the Pacers have seven at home, nine on the road.

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on C.J. Miles, who has been making music for a while now — but not promoting it too heavily:

C.J. Miles, making music when off court

He grew up singing in the church choir. Playing piano in middle school. Writing music as a teen, songs few people ever heard.

Now, Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Miles can be heard. He has ventured beyond writing to recording and releasing his own hip hop music – quietly.

Most fans who watch him on the court have no idea Miles is an undercover musician. That’s OK with him.

“I have no interest in being a rapper (as a career). I just like to do music. That’s why I don’t pub it or anything,” he said. “If people want to listen to it, they can listen to it. If they don’t, I’m still going to do it. It doesn’t really matter.”

Miles views music as his outlet, much like other guys play video games to relax. During the NBA season, while on the airplane or the bus, it’s not unusual to find Miles writing music.

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

The Pacers deserve more mentions from us and everybody else as well. Written off before the season even started, they’ve played excellent basketball for a while now. Here’s the Indianapolis Star with some insight:

George Hill helping Pacers do big things

Who knew an Indiana Pacer other than Paul George could key such a productive second half of the season?

That has become the case with George Hill, whose strong return from injury has improved the starting lineup as well as the unit that comes off the bench.

With Hill averaging 14.5 points over the past 11 games, the Pacers are 9-2 and in playoff contention entering Friday’s home game against Chicago because the entire team is clicking.

Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Watson have combined for 57 starts this season, but as a recent tandem of reserves they’re giving opponents fits.

Stuckey has averaged a team-high 15.6 points since Hill went back to starting Feb. 4. Included in that surge are seven games of 15 or more points and back-to-back 30-point efforts. Stuckey’s totals have been fueled by 51 percent shooting (52.2 percent on 3-pointers) and 3.6 assists.

Frank Vogel

The Indiana Pacers’ Frank Vogel and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Scott Brooks today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in February.

Vogel led the Pacers to the Eastern Conference’s best record in February at 7-2 (.778). He became the franchise’s all-time NBA coaching wins leader thanks to the Pacers’ second win of the month over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a 93-86 victory on Feb. 27. Indiana also topped the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors. The Pacers shot 47.2 percent from the field to lead the NBA in February, and also held opponents under 100 points in six-of-nine contests.

scott brooks

Brooks guided the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference in February at 9-3 (.750). The Thunder recorded a seven-game winning streak from Feb. 8-24, winning by an average of 15.6 points during that span. On the month, Oklahoma City’s 111.8 ppg led the league, while its 46.8 field goal percentage placed third. The Thunder went from one game under .500 to five games over thanks to its February performance.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Cleveland’s David Blatt, Houston’s Kevin McHale, Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers, Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd, and Portland’s Terry Stotts.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star helping to add clarity to the health status of the Pacers’ Paul George, who is injured and has not played a game this regular season:

Will Paul George be playing for Pacers by mid March?

While George made a business trip to New York City to endorse his line of hats, he also created a fuss with comments about making a full comeback by mid-March.

“March 1 isn’t when I wanted to play my first game, but when I wanted to be full-out practicing, doing up-and-down full court without any restrictions or limitations,” George said in a Friday interview with Yahoo Sports. “From there on, it’s seeing how far I can progress to where I play my first game. My hope is it’s an opponent where I feel comfortable coming back to where there isn’t too much pressure to perform, where I can ease my way back in. But I want to say mid-March, I could probably come back around that time.”

Later that night, the team released a statement to reel back these comments. While the statement repeated that George was “hopeful” and “optimistic” with that timeline of a return, the team also emphasized that the decision rests with the Pacers’ medical staff.

Jeff Teague reps the Hawks, but also the city of Indianapolis

Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague is putting up 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game for the 43-11 squad. He’s been named to the 2015 East NBA All-Star team as a reserve. So of course he reps the Hawks. But he’s also an important basketball figure for his hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting:

Jeff Teague reps the Hawks, but also the city of Indianapolis

It’s All-Star Weekend, and while the Pacers don’t have any representatives at this year’s game, there’s one participant that should be of particular interest for Indianapolis basketball fans.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, a Pike grad, was selected to his first All-Star Game after leading the Hawks to the East’s best record, highlighted by a 19-game win streak.

So why should you care about Teague’s selection?

Well, because he’s the first Indianapolis-bred All-Star since George McGinnis in 1979.

Yup, that’s right, it’s been 36 long years since a player from the largest city in a state synonymous with basketball has been an All-Star.

That’s not to say there haven’t been good basketball players to come from Indy during that time. Both Mike Conley (Lawrence North) and Gordon Hayward (Brownsburg) are playing at an All-Star level this season but found cracking the Western Conference roster a task too tall.

Pacers coach Vogel racking up techs

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers, whose head coach is making sure his voice gets heard, at least when the refs are around:

Pacers coach Vogel racking up techs

The Indiana Pacers are in a fight for one of the last playoff spots, and coach Frank Vogel is in a race that he’d rather not win.

Vogel recently moved ahead of his peers to become the No. 1 leader in technical fouls. On Monday, Vogel got ticked off then was T’d up – his ninth technical foul happening in a tightly contested fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs. All technical fouls award the opposing team a free throw, which San Antonio’s Danny Green made. The Pacers eventually lost 95-93.

By Wednesday afternoon, before his team faced the New Orleans Pelicans, Vogel hesitantly addressed his rising total of techs. The nine Ts have also come with a hefty price tag of $22,000 in fines this season.

Pacers assign Shayne Whittington to D-League

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that 6-11 rookie center Shayne Whittington has been assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League.

Whittington has played in 13 games for the Pacers this season with averages of 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

Whittington was undrafted out of Western Michigan and signed as a free agent, July 2, 2014.

With Paul George out for the season, Lance Stephenson gone to Charlotte, and various injuries and general struggles, it’s a challenging year for the Pacers, who have a 16-31 record.

Pacers pick up Solomon Hill contract option

The Indiana Pacers announced Thursday they have picked up the 2015-16 option on forward Solomon Hill’s contract.

Hill, entering his second season with the Pacers, averaged 1.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. He’s a 6-7, 225-pound small forward, born in Los Angeles, attended Arizona, and was drafted 23rd overall by the Pacers.

Pacers sign coach Frank Vogel to contract extension

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Head Coach Frank Vogel has signed a multi-year contract extension.

The 41-year-old Vogel is entering his fourth full season as coach after taking over on an interim basis in January, 2011. The Pacers finished that season 20-18 and reached the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four seasons. In July, 2011, the interim tag was removed and in the three seasons since, the Pacers have reached the Eastern Conference Finals twice and Eastern Conference Semifinals once with a record of 147-82 (.641 winning percentage). Last season, the Pacers earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Vogel and his coaching staff also earned Eastern Conference All-Star coaching honors. He has been named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month twice.

“We’re very happy to extend Frank’s contract,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “I believe he has done a great job and I look forward to continuing our relationship and working together to achieve all of our goals.”

Rick Fuson named president of Pacers

Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, will move into the role of vice chairman and Rick Fuson will succeed Morris as president in addition to continuing his role as chief operating officer, PS&E chairman and CEO Herb Simon announced Tuesday.

Both moves are effective immediately.

“This is not about change but continuity,” Simon said. “Jim Morris will maintain his important leadership role in fostering and sustaining relationships in the community and throughout the state of Indiana. Rick Fuson over many years has shown himself to be a brilliant manager and trusted steward of PS&E and all its assets and will continue to do so.”

Fuson, 61, joined the Pacers’ organization in 1984 as director of special events for Market Square Arena. He oversaw the construction and opening of Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 1999. He was promoted to executive senior vice president of PS&E in 2001 and chief operating officer in 2008. He is responsible for the operation of all aspects of the business and facilities elements of PS&E and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Morris, 71, a long-time community and civic leader and one of the principle architects of Indianapolis highly acclaimed strategy of using sports to foster economic development, joined PS&E in 2007 as a special consultant to then President/CEO Donnie Walsh. He was named president in 2008.

“I am honored and humbled by this tremendous opportunity,” said Fuson. “We are extremely fortunate to have Jim Morris in the role of vice chairman. He is an exemplary representative of PS&E and a pillar of our community. I am grateful to have worked side by side with Jim, Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird, Kelly Krauskopf and the great people of PS&E for over 30 years and I so look forward to our future. There is no better owner in sports than Herb Simon and his commitment to our franchises and community makes this a great place to work and live.”

“Pacers Sports & Entertainment was strong before I got here and I am proud of every piece of the operation: the ongoing success of the Pacers and the Indiana Fever, the multitude of entertainment events we host, the sales and marketing team, the finance department, our community relations efforts and Bankers Life Fieldhouse itself, which is operated so efficiently and magnificently,” said Morris. “It is an absolute thrill to work for an extraordinary owner in Herb Simon, and with such gifted people as Rick Fuson, Larry Bird and Kelly Krauskopf. PS&E is in terrific hands.”

Man arrested in Paul George burglary

Here’s ESPN.com reporting that the person who allegedly did Paul George wrong has been caught:

Police have arrested a man in connection with the April burglary at the Indianapolis home of Indiana Pacers star Paul George.

Indianapolis police say 43-year-old Michael Lewis of Whitestown was arrested Wednesday on burglary and theft charges for the April 28 break-in during which George’s platinum All-Star ring, valued at $15,000, was taken.

Police say detectives believe the burglary was a random act and that Lewis didn’t specifically target George’s home, which is on the city’s northeast side.

Pacers sign C.J. Fair, Arinze Onuaku, Chris Singleton, Adonis Thomas

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday the signing of free agents C.J. Fair, Arinze Onuaku, Chris Singleton and Adonis Thomas. We are guessing that these signings are mostly just for training camp, and these players will still have to compete to earn an actual regular season contract.

C.J. Fair is a 6-8 rookie forward out of Syracuse who played on the 2014 Dallas Mavericks summer league team.

Arinze Onuaku is a 6-9 second-year forward, also out of Syracuse, who played for both the New Orleans Pelicans and the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2013-14 season. He has also spent time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Canton Charge of the NBA Development League.

Chris Singleton is a fourth-year, 6-9 forward out of Florida State. He played all three seasons of his NBA career with the Washington Wizards, with career averages of 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Adonis Thomas is a 6-7 forward that played collegiately at Memphis. He is in his second year in the NBA, having played for both Orlando and Philadelphia in the 2013-14 season.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on some goodwill:

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert donated $1 million to Georgetown University on Tuesday. Hibbert, who played for the Hoyas from 2004-08, made the donation to the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center in honor of the school’s hall of fame basketball coach.

“I am deeply indebted to Georgetown University and the basketball program for all they have done for me,” Hibbert said in a press release. “I put in a lot of hard work to get where I am, but I was given a tremendous amount of guidance both on and off the floor from coach Thompson III and I wouldn’t be here without him.”

Here’s the Washington Post blog with an update on Paul George and Team USA:

Team USA tells Paul George he has a spot on the 2016 Olympic team

Paul George may be down for now when it comes to Team USA, but he’s not out. USA Basketball plans to keep a roster spot open for the injured Indian Pacers star so he can play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

“We’ve told him we have a spot for him in ’16,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told NBA.com. He noted the offer was unconditional and not dependent on how George comes back from his injury.

“We thought it’s the right thing to do,” Colangelo said. “We didn’t give thought to all the detail. Just that when a guy goes down and all these things, the circumstances, his career passes before him, he’s out for a year, a year-plus, he’s not able to participate now with us — we wanted to throw that out and say, ‘We’re counting on you. You’ve got a spot in ’16.’ ”

Paul George recovery info

Paul George recovery info

Doctors say Paul George’s biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

One day after the two-time All-Star suffered a gruesome open tibia-fibula fracture on his right leg during a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas, the questions began in earnest about George’s recovery — and whether he’d ever regain the form a that made him one of NBA’s most complete players.

The 24-year-old George and said he was resting comfortably Saturday morning following surgery. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird later issued a statement saying hopes George will return to Indianapolis next week before the long rehab process begins.

“The thing about breaking a bone is that if you get it back in the appropriate position, it can be as good as new,” said Dr. James Gladstone, the co-chief of sports medicine at Icahn School at Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “If the muscle is not involved and the bone and muscle are fully healed, then I think he will get back (to his previous form).”

– Associated Press

Paul George injury badly hurts Pacers

Paul George injury badly hurts Pacers

George’s loss comes on the heels of Lance Stephenson’s departure to Charlotte in free agency, leaving Indiana without its two most versatile players. The Pacers had the Eastern Conference’s best record last season at 56-26 and could have been the favorite to reach the NBA Finals after LeBron James’ departure from Miami if they could have brought their core back.

Now, they could struggle just to stay in the playoff picture in the toughened-up East. James’ arrival in Cleveland, with Kevin Love perhaps still to come, could make the Cavaliers the team to beat. Or it could be Chicago, with Derrick Rose looking back in form after another surgery while playing for the Americans this week and with Pau Gasol joining the Bulls next season.

Washington and Toronto figure to keep building after their playoff appearances last season, Miami rebounded well after losing James to keep a competitive team together, and the Pacers without George might not be as good as any of them.

– Associated Press

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