Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on the Bulls:

Pick an excuse: lack of depth, bad calls, missed shots, poor rebounding, flopping. The list went on and on for the Bulls on Friday night.

The Bulls are still a feel-good story, but not every story has a happy ending. Certainly not in Indiana.

Thanks to a 19-0 run in the third quarter, the Pacers pulled away from the Bulls in a 91-79 laugher.

And, as coach Tom Thibodeau pointed out, losing the rebounding battle 51-36 is never a good thing. And reserve big man Taj Gibson fouling out because the Pacers have “floppers’’ doesn’t help. But depth seemed to be the difference. It was a big reason why Indiana (51-18) outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the third quarter to put the game on ice.

“You can use that as an excuse if you want,’’ Thibodeau said when asked about the Bulls’ lack of depth being exposed. “I choose not to.”

Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George had 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in a win against the Bulls Friday. Video highlights:

Center Andrew Bynum is alive. No longer sitting on the end of the Indiana Pacers bench watching basketball but not playing it, Bynum has finally stepped onto the court. Here’s how he started off:

Andrew Bynum may make Pacers debut soon

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on center Andrew Bynum, who for now as a member of the Pacers has merely been an observer. But that could soon change:

Andrew Bynum may make Pacers debut soon

Andrew Bynum could make his debut with the Indiana Pacers soon.

On Sunday, Bynum said that he hopes to be “cleared to play next week,” believing that he could be on the floor by Friday, March 14 when the Pacers play in Philadelphia. Pacers coach Frank Vogel said the team planned to re-evaluate Bynum after the road trip.

“We’ll see after (Sunday’s) game goes and then we’ll probably meet about it (Monday),” Vogel said, “and try to come up with a firmer plan.”

Through his career, Bynum, a 7-0 center, has shown flashes of dominance but has also been limited with knee problems.

George Hill out with recurring shoulder injury

Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (bruised left shoulder) missed his fourth game of the season on Saturday night.

Hill was injured with less than 2 minutes remaining in the Pacers’ win over Milwaukee on Thursday night. Hill said that an MRI revealed “previous stuff,” referencing the sprained left shoulder injury from the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season that sidelined him for two games.

“Messing with ‘Psycho T’ (former teammate Tyler Hansbrough) in practice,” Hill said Saturday, recalling that original injury. “Got tangled up with him. I hurt it pretty bad … so I think it’s just a recurred injury that just opened back up just a little bit.”

– Indianapolis Star

Here’s the Indianapolis Star with insight on the Pacers trade of Danny Granger to the Philadelphia 76ers:

Larry Bird discusses Pacers trade of Danny Granger

Pacers president Larry Bird didn’t begin negotiations on the Evan Turner-Danny Granger trade until 2:30 p.m., 30 minutes before Thursday’s trade deadline.

*Philly was trying to get a first-round pick for Turner and, when that didn’t manifest, Bird said the 76ers reached out to the Pacers.

“They wanted to move him and we were there and we took it. I had to think about it for a while but decided to do it (and) move on.”

*Bird said that rather matter of factly, but it was somewhat hard for him because “Danny’s always been my favorite,” Bird said.

*Bird insists that there was “no shopping around” of Granger but the last-minute proposition with Philly had to be considered.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on new backup center Andrew Bynum:

Andrew Bynum says he will play hard for Pacers

As Andrew Bynum appeared from the basketball court on Friday morning to meet with reporters for the first time since becoming an Indiana Pacer, his new teammate George Hill marveled at the scene.

“L.A. media!” Hill joked loud enough to be heard.

Only Bynum did not reply – just as he has ignored the lingering doubts about his desire to play basketball.

“I mean, people have opinions, I don’t respond to it,” Bynum said. “I just go out and play.

“Again, that’s what they’re going to say. All I can do is go play hard and put points by your name, that’s it.”

After the Pacers’ morning shootaround, Bynum, the 7-2 center, remained calm as much smaller members of the media hedged him in. For more than five minutes, Bynum answered a range of questions about his commitment to the game, his desire to join the Pacers and even what went south during his short stay in Cleveland.

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on new Indiana Pacers center Andrew Bynum, who is apparently too talented and has too much potential upside for NBA teams to give up on:

andrew bynum

Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird disagrees with criticism that controversial 7-1, 285-pound center Andrew Bynum could be a disruption to the team’s culture and locker room.

The Pacers signed the controversial 26-year-old center Saturday. Bynum, who has struggled with knee injuries throughout his career, landed with his fifth team after being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers then waived by the Chicago Bulls last month.

“We’ve got protection for Roy (Hibbert) and Ian (Mahinmi) and we’ll see how it works out,” Bird said. “I think it’s a great upside for us, we don’t do anything that we don’t think is going to help us and I think this is going to help us.

East NBA All-Star head coach announced

At 30-7, the Indiana Pacers have the best record in the NBA. With a very average offense but the best defense in the league on a per-possession basis, the squad is making the most of their talent.

On Tuesday, the NBA announced that Pacers head coach Frank Vogel has earned the role of 2014 East NBA All-Star head coach.

Not-so-bold prediction: Vogel’s East All-Stars will display a lot more offense than his Pacers.

More info: Frank Vogel will be head coach of 2014 East NBA All-Star team

Here’s the Indianapolis Star on veteran Rasual Butler enjoying himself as a member of the Indiana Pacers. Butler plays just 5.8 minutes per game, but he’s a part of a winning team with legit championship aspirations.

Rasual Butler happy to be with Pacers

Butler has recaptured his NBA career just by staying ready.

During 2011-12, he was waived by the Toronto Raptors and remained without an NBA job for the entire next season. Butler had bounced around five teams in 10 years, thought of as just a spot-up shooter and possibly, one close advocate believes, considered a veteran who wasn’t worth the trouble.

Forget one foot, Butler had nine toes out of the very exclusive club that no basketball player ever wants to be escorted away from. But he remained humble, hungry and, most of all, ready. After a year spent remaking his body then accepting the lowly assignments of Development League standout and Summer League old head, Butler has returned to the NBA.

“You don’t get too many of those,” says Geo Aispuro, the basketball trainer who worked out with Butler for nearly a year so he could return to the NBA. “You get a lot of guys that drop out but you just never get those guys that drop out and get back into the league.”

Butler has this old soul about him. He speaks like a late-night DJ spinning jazz records and even breaks up the uncensored jocularity in the Pacers’ locker room whenever he feels the ribbing could go too far. Butler carries the sophistication of well-traveled diplomat and shares wisdom like the neighborhood lifer. But really, he’s just a man who’s seen his share of twists and turns and now feels grateful for this time of stability.

Paul Pierce fined for hard foul on George Hill

Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce has been fined $15,000 for making excessive and unnecessary contact with George Hill of the Indiana Pacers, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which was called a Flagrant Foul 2, occurred with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter of the Nets’ 103-86 loss the Pacers on Monday Dec. 23, at Barclays Center.

Danny Granger finally back for Pacers

Here’s the Indianapolis Star reporting on the Pacers getting even stronger:

Danny Granger finally back for Pacers

Danny Granger’s absence for most of the past 18 months caused some angst among Indiana Pacers fans. They wondered how the team’s top player for so many years would fit in with a group that was doing quite nicely without him.

But no matter the misgivings, they showered him with love when he played for the first time this season during a 114-81 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Granger, who missed the first 25 games because of a calf strain, went to the scorer’s table along with Luis Scola to check in with about 4½ minutes left in the first quarter. The sellout crowd of 18,165 started cheering loudly and Area 55 — the fan section sponsored by teammate Roy Hibbert — started a “Danny, Danny” chant that quickly spread.

He got a standing ovation when he officially checked in with 4:05 remaining. He made his presence felt on the defensive end, coming from the weak side to block a shot by Houston’s Dwight Howard.

Yeah, by now you’re probably bored of hearing “Danny Granger set to return!” stories. But this time it’s happening. Probably. At 19-3, the Indiana Pacers don’t seem to need any additional help, but they’ll soon receive it. Here’s ESPN.com on it:

Danny Granger should play soon for Pacers

Danny Granger has played in only five games over the past two seasons for the Indiana Pacers, but he’s hoping to make his return this week.

Granger said he won’t play in Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and instead is targeting Friday’s home game with the Charlotte Bobcats as he recovers from a calf injury that’s kept him out of the team’s first 21 games. He was limited to five games last season because of a knee injury.

“There’s a very good chance, hopefully on Friday,” Granger said. “I’m conditioning my legs, getting my wind. The knee is not an issue at all. The calf is pretty good now.”

After Granger experienced several setbacks over the past year, the Pacers aren’t committing themselves as strongly to the return.

The Indiana Pacers have been great this season, and getting Danny Granger back, even if he’s not the player he used to be, would make them even deeper. Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Danny Granger returns to practice for Pacers

The unexpected continues on the Indiana Pacers’ eventful trip to Texas: Danny Granger practiced.

“I feel good,” Granger said following the Friday session, his first live participation in weeks. “I was running, sprinting, playing live for about an hour, so I felt really good.”

Since Oct. 28, when the team announced that Granger would miss approximately three weeks with a strained left calf, the sight of the veteran forward had been limited to post-practice shooting drills and sideline cheering. The team’s timeline has long since expired and Granger has missed all 19 games this season.

Though he practiced, Pacers coach Frank Vogel announced that Granger would not play Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. Vogel said there is no new timeline for Granger’s return to the lineup.

The Indiana Pacers were expected to be good this season, but they’ve exceeded expectations, and look as legit an NBA championship contender as anybody. But as for what they’ve done so far, here’s the Indianapolis Star with some history:

Thirty teams have begun a season 8-0. The 12 that had their streaks snapped in the ninth game averaged 55.5 wins. The over-under on victories for the Pacers this preseason, according to Bovada Sportsbook? 54.5.

“Just taking it in stride,” coach Frank Vogel said.

Eight of the 30 teams won titles and four others reached the Finals. It includes legendary teams such as the 1996-97 Bulls, 2007-08 Celtics and 1987-88 Lakers. But it also includes a 1979-80 Portland team that finished with a losing record and Seattle in 1993-94, which started 10-0, finished 63-19 and was the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round, getting upset by No. 8 Denver.

The Indiana Pacers are off to a fantastic start, and have a solid bench this season, but there’s always room for Danny Granger’s services once he’s healthy. Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Danny Granger

Granger was supposed to battle with Lance Stephenson — who had a breakout campaign while Granger was absent for most last season — for the fifth and final starting spot before the calf injury. But Stephenson is off to a strong start and his leaving the starting lineup appears less and less likely. The Pacers also appear to have plenty of depth.

But Vogel said he won’t have any problem finding playing time for Granger when he returns.

“He’s going to be another perimeter threat for us,” Vogel said. “We need his veteran’s savvy, we need his big-play ability. He’s a winning player.”

Granger, who has played his entire eight-plus year NBA career with the Pacers, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The 8-0 Indiana Pacers are off to a great start, and their depth should only increase soon. Here’s the Indianapolis Star:

Danny Granger

After Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger shot down reports about a setback with his surgically repaired left knee, coach Frank Vogel repeated Monday that the veteran will return to the practice court this week.

“I still think it’s going to be a new beginning of a process to get his game legs back under him and his game timing,” Vogel said before the Pacers hosted the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “So I’m not sure when his return date will be, but he’ll start practicing.”

The Pacers will not have a full practice today, so Granger, who is entering the final week of what was expected to be approximately a three-week absence with a calf strain, will participate in individual work and possibly 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 games. By Wednesday, Granger and the Pacers should be back to full practicing.

Pacers forward Danny Granger out 3 weeks

danny granger

Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger will miss approximately three weeks as he rehabilitates a strained left calf injury sustained in the preseason.The length of time is a precautionary measure as the team wants to ensure Granger is physically ready to play in light of missing all but five games last season due to his knee injury. The rehabilitation time is strictly related to the calf injury.

Hopefully Granger finally returns for the Pacers and is able to contribute regularly from that point on.

According to the Pacers.com blog, “What we know for sure now is that Lance Stephenson will start for the immediate future, and probably for the rest of the season. Coach Frank Vogel stated early in training camp that Granger would start if healthy. More recently, he said Granger would be given starting opportunities once healthy to see how it worked. Given the uncertainty of Granger’s availability, Vogel might decide to stick with Granger in a reserve role, where any uncertainty surrounding him would have less impact. If the Pacers open the season well with Stephenson in the starting lineup, why change?”

Indiana Pacers release Hilton Armstrong

indiana pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday they have released forward/center Hilton Armstrong.

The Pacers’ roster now stands at 14 players.

With the NBA regular season starting on Tuesday, teams around the league are trimming their rosters down to 15 players or less.

Well, Danny Granger is banged up again. But it’s minor, hopefully. And not directly related to the stuff that kept him out for a long time. Hopefully. And the good news is, the Pacers are a talented team with a nice bench, so they can afford to be patient. Here’s Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star:

danny granger

Danny Granger’s return to the Indiana Pacers likely will be delayed a bit longer — although no one knows exactly how long.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said after practice Thursday that the strained calf suffered by Granger last week is worse than previously thought and he doubts the former All-Star forward will play in the team’s regular-season opener against Orlando on Tuesday.

“There’s a chance he could play (against the Magic), but it’s probably unlikely,” Vogel said.

Granger did not play in Tuesday’s 107-89 preseason victory at Atlanta and will not play Friday night in the Pacers’ preseason finale at Dallas. He missed all but five games last season because of a knee injury.

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