Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

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

Updated statement from Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird regarding Paul George:

Statement from Larry Bird on Paul George after serious leg injury

“Our first thoughts are with Paul and his family. It is way too early to speculate on his return as the No. 1 priority for everyone will be his recovery. Our initial discussions with our doctors and the doctors in Las Vegas have us very optimistic. We are hopeful at some point next week Paul will return to Indianapolis to continue his recovery.

“There is no question about the impact on our team but our goal is to be as strong-willed and determined as Paul will be in coming back. Our franchise has had setbacks in its history but has demonstrated the abilities to recover. Paul will provide the example of that off the court and it is up to the rest of us to provide that example on the court. Any discussion regarding the future of our team would be inappropriate at this time. Our focus is solely on Paul and doing whatever we can to help.

”We still support USA Basketball and believe in the NBA’s goals of exposing our game, our teams and players worldwide. This is an extremely unfortunate injury that occurred on a highly-visible stage, but could also have occurred anytime, anywhere.

“Finally, the Pacers would like to thank our fans and the NBA community for their outreach of support in the brief amount of time since the injury occurred. It has been overwhelming and it is what makes Indiana and the NBA special.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on a very nasty Paul George injury from Friday:

Paul George suffers horrible leg injury

Indiana Pacers star Paul George suffered a gruesome lower right leg injury during the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage at UNLV and underwent surgery late Friday night.

The Indianapolis Star reported George suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula, had a pin placed in his leg and is expected to remain hospitalized for two to three days. A USA Basketball spokesman who confirmed George was in surgery said the organization would not have any other information until the operation was complete and officials spoke with the doctor. Dr. Riley Williams, a Team USA orthopedist who also works with the Brooklyn Nets, was with George.

George’s leg landed and then buckled at the base of the basket stanchion after he fouled James Harden on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Nearby teammates immediately reacted, with Harden doubling over as George recoiled on the baseline.

Medics, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski and members of George’s family who were at the game rushed to his side.

His right leg was put in an air cast, and he was taken to a Las Vegas hospital after being treated for about 15 minutes on the court. His family members accompanied him there.

Pacers sign Rodney Stuckey

Pacers sign Rodney Stuckey

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have signed free agent Rodney Stuckey.

Stuckey, a 6-5, 205-pound guard, has seven years of NBA experience, all with the Detroit Pistons. He was a No. 1 pick of the Pistons (15th overall) in the 2007 NBA Draft after playing collegiately at Eastern Washington. While with the Pistons, Stuckey had a career average of 13.4 points per game with a career high 16.6 average in 2009-10. He made the NBA’s All-Rookie second team after the 2007-08 season.

“Rodney is a very talented player who can create and score in a variety of ways,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “We’re very happy to get a player with his experience and who has made it very clear of his desire to win.”

Paul George working on post-up moves

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Paul George:

Paul George working on post-up moves

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George says he plans on adding a more physical dimension to his play next season.

“I plan on being a lot more physical this year,” George said, according to the Indianapolis Star. “I really plan [on] taking contact and wanting to get contact and finishing through contact. That’s the next step for me.”

The All-Star forward averaged a career-high 21.7 points per game last season but he posted up just 5 percent of the time, ranked 74th out of 74 NBA forwards with at least 50 plays, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

George told the Star that he has worked a lot on his post-up game this offseason.

Pacers sign C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez, re-sign Lavoy Allen

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday they have signed free agents C.J. Miles and Damjan Rudez and re-signed free agent Lavoy Allen.

Allen, a 6-9 225 lb. forward out of Temple, re-signs with the Pacers after being initially acquired via trade on Feb. 20, 2014. He was the 20th pick in the Second Round (50th overall) in the 2011 NBA Draft, by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played two and a half seasons with the 76ers before being traded to the Pacers. Allen has career averages of 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game; and in 14 games with the Pacers he averaged 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per game.

“We’re very happy to have Lavoy back,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “When he had the opportunity to play, he played well. He fits in with what we’re trying to accomplish here and every day he’s committed to getting better.”

Miles, a 6-6, 210 lb. guard/forward, enters his 10th season in the NBA. Miles played the last two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers where he averaged 10.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. C.J. was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 34th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent the 2005-12 seasons with the Jazz. While with the Jazz, he spent time with both the Idaho Stampede and Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League. He has career averages of 8.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

“We’re very glad to have C.J. and he really wanted to be here,” said Bird. “He brings versatility to the small forward and shooting guard positions. He’s a great shooter and scorer. We think he’ll fit nicely with the culture of our team.”

Rudez is a 6-10, 200 lb. forward out of Croatia. Most recently, he has played the last two seasons with CAI Zaragoza in Spain in the Liga ACB. Prior to that he played with Cibona Zagreb in Croatia, Cedevita Zagreb in Croatia, Union Olimpija in Slovenia, KK Split in Croatia, BC Oostende in Belgium and KK Zrinjevac in Croatia. He is currently a member of the Croatian National Team.

“Damjan is one of the best shooters in Europe,” said Bird. “With his size and knowledge, he can play two positions for us. He has experience, maturity and really knows how to play. He had a number of options, he chose us and we’re thrilled he did. We look forward to having him in a Pacer uniform.”

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson. The team was eliminated Friday by the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals:

lance stephenson free agency

Lance Stephenson’s recent production hints he is due a major pay day as the shooting guard hits the free-agent market this summer.

But after the Indiana Pacers’ ouster in the East finals, his teammates had mixed reactions about his future in the wake of a number of Stephenson-fueled controversies.

Paul George, who like Stephenson was drafted by the Pacers in 2010 and helped build the team into a contender in the East, was ambivalent when asked if Stephenson would be back.

“I don’t know. That’s for Larry, Kevin Pritchard, for them to decide,” George said of president Larry Bird and the Pacers’ general manager.

George later tempered his reaction, saying he and Stephenson “came into this league together. It would be great for us to continue our journey together.”

Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers have each been fined by the NBA in separate incidents for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Stephenson has been fined $10,000 for his second violation of the 2014 NBA Playoffs which occurred with 8:23 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 93-90 win over the Miami Heat last night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Hibbert has been fined $5,000 for his first violation which occurred last night with 5:18 remaining in the fourth quarter.

To view the plays click on the following links:  Stephenson flop, and Hibbert flop.

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