Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

George Hill hurts ankle in preseason loss to Rockets

The goal in every NBA preseason game is to escape without a player sustaining an injury.

Even in a setting on Sunday when the Indiana Pacers finished their Global Games with an exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan – while entertaining a voracious crowd ranked high for the basketball ambassadors, knees and ankles still mattered more.

During the Pacers’ 107-98 loss to the Houston Rockets at the Taipei Arena, point guard George Hill collided with Roy Hibbert during a third quarter play and grabbed at his ankle. Head coach Frank Vogel described Hill’s injury as a mild ankle sprain.

Paul George led the Pacers with 19 points while backup forward Danny Granger, recovering from knee surgery, scored 15 points and grabbed a team-best nine rebounds in his most productive preseason performance.

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star

First-year Pacers forward Solomon Hill has impressed head coach Frank Vogel as a “proven” player on the court, but to his teammates, he’s still a rookie — which makes Hill an errand boy.

Through the first week of training camp, center Roy Hibbert would often shout “Hey, Rook!” and dutifully, Hill would heed the command to bring the veteran a bottle of water. Even off the court, the rookie duties have continued.

“Hasn’t been anything too serious yet,” Hill said. “It hasn’t been too bad. Nothing too crazy. Get video games.”

“Grab towels for the guys, you know, some guys want certain lotions.”

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Blog)

Pacers forward Luis Scola discusses his love of travel

“I like traveling a lot,” said Scola, who spent much of the summer player for Argentina in Venezuela. “I think it’s fun. You get a chance to see new countries and do what a lot of people pay a lot of money to do and do it for free. We’re actually getting paid for doing this. I think it’s great. It’s one of the best things about basketball. And every time you go to a new place … it’s a fact there is a lot of stuff we didn’t see because we’re flying, we’re playing, we’re practicing, we’re doing media, we’re doing events and a lot of things. There is always a good chance to come back and do all the stuff we couldn’t do because we were playing.

Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Danny Granger will have important role on Pacers, whether he starts or not

Although Lance Stephenson walked out on the floor with the starters on Saturday night, Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel has not yet settled on his top five.

“Obviously, if Danny Granger comes back to the level that he was playing at before, then he’s our starter and it’s going to be an exciting group, and Lance comes in and gives us some spark off the bench,” Vogel said. “But look, there’s a lot of different ways that you can use guys, and I haven’t made any final decisions.”

San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili and James Harden, during his time with Oklahoma City, set the precedent of sixth men who play major minutes and finish games. If Granger were to remain on the bench, he would play a similar role.

Reported by Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star

C.J. Watson seems like great fit for Pacers

C.J. Watson has spent nearly his entire professional career coming off the bench so when the Indiana Pacers told him that likely would be his role if he accepted their free-agency offer last summer, he was fine with it.

Yet, Watson also knew the Pacers were crying out for help at point guard. Even if he didn’t start, substantial playing time could be had on a team in which starting point guard George Hill often resembles a shooter and scorer as much as a distributor.

“D.J. (Augustin, the Pacers’ previous backup now in Toronto) still played a lot last year,” said Watson, who signed a two-year, $4.1 million contract after spending last season with the Brooklyn Nets. “That was a good thing for me to see, knowing I could help this team.”

After the first few days of training camp, coach Frank Vogel sounds more convinced than ever he will do just that.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Danny Granger draws compliments after Indiana Pacers practice

Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger played to positive reviews in his first practice since undergoing season-ending knee surgery six months ago.

From his teammates. From coach Frank Vogel. From Granger himself.

“For me, it honestly went better than expected,” Granger said after the Pacers’ first training camp practice on Saturday. “It felt good out there.”

Granger said pushing off his knee, which bothered him before the surgery and limited him to five games last season, no longer is an issue. Now, he wants to build endurance in it. Doctors have told him it takes a year to fully recover from the surgery he had, but players can return to action in six months.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Indiana Pacers sign Paul George to multi-year contract extension

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed veteran guard/forward Paul George to a multi-year contract extension. According to the Indianapolis Star, “George is eligible for a five-year contract that will pay him approximately $80 million to $90 million, according to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. If he is named to one of the league’s three All-NBA teams at the end of next season, he would be eligible for more than $90 million. If not, he could make almost $80 million.”
According to the Associated Press, “We’re all in this year,” Larry Bird said. They proved it Wednesday by officially singing George to a five-year max contract extension that guarantees him between $80 and $90 million and could be worth even more if George reaches an escalator clause. George’s deal comes after David West’s new three-year, $36 million contract, Bird’s offseason spending spree to improve the bench and last year’s expensive deals to keep center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill. The Pacers are almost certain to have their core nucleus together for several more years. And with the Pacers coming off back-to-back playoff runs in which they pushed Miami, the expectations are soaring.”

The 6-7, 225-pound George is considered one of the rising stars in the NBA. Last season, his third in the NBA, George averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He made his first All-Star appearance as a reserve for the East in the NBA All-Star Game, was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player while also being named to the All-NBA third team and the All-Defensive second team. George was the Pacers’ No. 1 draft pick (10th overall) in the 2010 draft.

“I want to thank the Pacers for believing in me when they drafted me,” said George. “To continue my career with the Pacers was a very easy decision. We have great ownership, a great front office, great fans and I’m blessed with great coaches and great teammates. I use great a lot because that is what this franchise is and I’m hopeful we can be part of great things in the future.”

“Paul represents not only what our team and franchise is about, but what a professional athlete should be,” said President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He strives every day to be the best he can be, as a player, as a teammate, as a person and as a representative of this franchise.”

Associated Press: “George showed up for the news conference in a nifty gray suit, dapper shoes, trendy eyeglasses and neatly trimmed hair. But he didn’t sound different from the blue-collar guy who has been impressing Pacers coaches and teammates since he was taken 10th in the 2010 draft.”

Paul George
Pacers, Paul George finalizing huge contract extension
Must get even better to validate this huge contract

All-Star forward Paul George and the Indiana Pacers are finalizing a five-year, $90 million-plus maximum contract extension, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

A deal is expected to be signed this week, league sources told Yahoo.

For the Pacers and George, who was voted the 2013 NBA Most Improved Player, the five-year deal will cement the gifted young forward as Indiana’s designated franchise player. George’s extension will begin with the 2014-15 season. He will make $3.2 million this season.

In three NBA seasons, George has developed into one of the league’s most thrilling young talents, blossoming into a starring role in the Pacers’ march to a Game 7 against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

Paul George says he will sign Pacers contract extension soon

Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George said today the team’s fans don’t need to worry about him going anywhere.

Indianapolis is his professional home and he plans to be here for a long time.

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George told The Indianapolis Star. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.”

George is entering the final year of his contract and the odds seemed long that he would leave Indiana even before Wednesday’s comments. The Pacers would have the right to match any offer he received next summer and have indicated they would do just that.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday the signing of free agents Ron Howard and Darnell Jackson. We assume (but have not confirmed) that these are nonguaranteed deals for training camp, merely giving the players a chance to make the regular season roster.

Howard is a 6-5 guard/forward who played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League last season.

Jackson is a 6-8 forward who played with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League last season. He has played with Cleveland, Milwaukee and Sacramento in the NBA.

Indiana Pacers

Roger Brown became a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer on Sunday, with another Hall of Famer telling people what the former Indiana Pacers superstar in the old ABA meant to the franchise.

“People say that I put the Indiana Pacers on the map,” Reggie Miller said. “No, it all started with Roger Brown.”

Brown, who died in 1997, was presented by Miller and Hall of Famer Mel Daniels, a teammate of Brown’s.

Brown’s daughter, Gayle Brown Mayes, called it “a really special day” but “bittersweet” because of her father’s absence.

During the induction, Mayes was on the stage with Brown’s son, Roger Jr., plus Miller and Daniels.

Reported by Curtis Harris, special to the Indianapolis Star

Brown was the first player to sign a contract with the Pacers when they were formed in 1967, based on the recommendation of Oscar Robertson, who had played against him in off-season pickup games. Although 25 years old when the ABA was formed, and already operating on knees softened from playing so many games on asphalt and concrete, he was a first-team all-ABA selection in 1971, played in four All-Star games and was a member of the Pacers’ three championship teams. He was coming off the bench by the third one, in 1973, was traded away in 1974 and retired after playing 10 games with the Pacers at the end of the 1974-75 season.

His shining moment, however, came in the 1970 ABA Finals when the Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Stars in six games for their first title. He averaged 28.5 points in the series and scored 53 in a win in L.A. He also once hit all 14 shots in a game, and was one of the game’s greatest clutch players. Pacers coach Slick Leonard often sent the other four players to one side of the court and let Brown go one-on-one for clutch baskets.

Reported by Mark Montieth of Pacers.com

Chris Copeland
Chris Copeland said his left knee is healing as hoped
Will be missed in New York

Chris Copeland said his left knee is healing and he’ll be ready to make his debut with the Indiana Pacers at the beginning of the season.

“Much improved,” Copeland said during a promotional appearance for the opening of a new St. Vincent Performance location in Carmel on Thursday. “I’ve been training hard. Everything is good. It’s not 100 percent, but definitely much better than last year.”

Copeland signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Pacers in July. They lured him from the New York Knicks, where he put together an impressive rookie season after playing overseas for five years.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Pacers’ long playoff run this spring is making it easier for the team’s front office to sell tickets.

Todd Taylor, the team’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Tuesday that sales of season-ticket packages are up nearly 30 percent from this time last year. Packages are considered anything 11 games or more because they give the buyer a guarantee to purchase playoff tickets, he said.

Per club policy, the Pacers do not reveal total number of season tickets. But Taylor said the 30 percent bump includes about 1,200 new ticket holders.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Former professional basketball player Kenny Williams has been sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay more than $660,000 in restitution for failing to pay child support.

The 44-year-old Williams was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Williams earned a salary playing for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, played overseas and drove luxury cars while his former wife and three children were on welfare.

Reported by the Associated Press

Popeye Jones

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Popeye Jones has been hired as an assistant coach to complete the Pacers’ coaching staff.

The 43-year-old Jones comes to the Pacers after spending the last three years with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, one season in player development, the last two as an assistant coach. Prior to that, he was with Dallas for three years in player development. Jones played collegiately at Murray State and was a 1992 second-round pick of the Houston Rockets, who traded his rights to Dallas. He played one season in Italy before joining the Mavericks in 1993 and ended up playing with Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State before retiring in 2004.

“Popeye brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and coach,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “He comes in as a player development coach focusing on the big men, but he has become a complete coach, great with Xs and Os and game strategy. He will be a great asset to our staff.”

Jones joins long-time assistant Dan Burke and associate head coach Nate McMillan, who was hired in July, on the Pacers’ staff.

Chris Copeland out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that forward Chris Copeland underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. The surgery was performed Friday morning at the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital.

Recovery time is estimated at six to eight weeks and Copeland is expected to be ready for the start of the 2013 training camp.

Phoenix Suns trade Luis Scola to Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday they have acquired veteran forward/center Luis Scola from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Gerald Green, center Miles Plumlee and a future No. 1 draft pick.

The 6-9, 245-pound Scola, a native of Argentina, played five seasons with the Houston Rockets and last season with the Suns. He has career averages of 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The 33-year-old Scola is a regular member of Argentina’s national team, having won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

“I’m very, very excited to play for the Pacers,” said Scola. “They are one of the top three teams in the NBA with a good shot to win a championship. I think it’s a great team and this is a great opportunity. I can’t wait.”

“Luis will be a very important asset to our team and to our bench,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has NBA experience, international experience and is the type of player that will fit in nicely on our roster. I want to thank Gerald and Miles for their contributions. They had tough years last season, but worked hard, never complained and contributed to the great chemistry our team had. I think Gerald and Miles will be solid additions in Phoenix and we wish them well.”

Green was signed as a free agent in 2012 and played in 60 games for the Pacers, averaging 7.0 points per game with a single-game high of 34. Plumlee was the Pacers’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft (26th overall) out of Duke and appeared in 14 games averaging 0.9 points and 1.6 rebounds. He played in 15 games last season for the Pacers’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, averaging 11.2 points and 10.2 rebounds.

“The trade is consistent with our stated plan to continue to acquire young assets,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “With this trade, we now have the potential for three first-round picks in the 2014 draft and five first-round picks in the next two drafts.”

“Although Luis’s time here in Phoenix was short, he certainly ingratiated himself to all of us in Phoenix with his hard work and professionalism. He will be an important contributor to a contending team in Indiana.”

“We are excited to add Miles and Gerald to our young core group of players,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Miles was one of the best players in the Orlando Summer League, and Gerald’s scoring ability and athleticism will help us as we continue to build a team that plays an exciting, up tempo brand of basketball.”

Plumlee, a 6-11, 255-pound center, was selected by the Pacers with the 26th overall pick (first round) of the 2012 NBA Draft and played in 14 games for a deep Indiana team that pushed the NBA Champion Miami Heat to a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals. Earlier this month, he played on the Pacers summer league squad in Orlando and averaged 10.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks while shooting 51.5 percent (17-33) from the field in 27.0 minutes.

A four-year collegiate performer at Duke University, Plumlee was a member of the Blue Devils squad that won three ACC championships and the 2010 NCAA National Championship. As a senior, he averaged 6.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks on 61.0-percent shooting in 20.5 minutes.

Green, a six-year veteran, was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 18th pick (first round) of the 2005 NBA Draft out of high school after averaging 33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists. After doubling his production to 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in his second season with Boston, he was included in a multi-player trade for Kevin Garnett.

A 6-8, 210-pound small forward, Green owns career averages of 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 272 games with Boston (2005-07), Minnesota (2007-08), Houston (2007-08), Dallas (2008-09), New Jersey (2011-12) and Indiana (2012-13). After a brief stint playing overseas in Russia and China, he returned to the states for the 2011-12 season and played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League before being called up by the New Jersey Nets. Last season with the Pacers, he averaged 7.0 points in 18.0 minutes and came off the bench in the playoffs to average 6.1 points and 1.3 rebounds on 42.0-percent shooting in nine appearances.

Paul George hopes to stay with Pacers

Paul George hopes to stay with Pacers

We present to you “Exhibit A” on why the Lakers’ well-intentioned plans to clear up cap space for the 2014 offseason won’t automatically restore the Lakers’ championship fortunes.

Indiana forward Paul George basically confirmed he won’t be among one of those attractive free agents the Lakers wish they could sign next season. Instead, it appears George and the Pacers are going to ink a max extension well before the Oct. 31 deadline for players from the 2010 draft class.

“I’m happy, man. I’m happy in Indiana,” George told ESPN.com. “It’s overwhelming (to hear) that they would want a player like me to come play for their team. But right now I’m focused on Indiana. I’m happy to be in Indiana. Our future is bright in Indiana. I wouldn’t want to leave something great.”

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

George Hill pulls out of Team USA camp for his own basketball camp

Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill has pulled out of this week’s Team USA camp in Las Vegas so he could attend the youth camps he hosts.

Hill tweeted: “What up Twittas! Everything is fine just couldn’t give up on the kids and cancel my kids camp to make it to USA Trials! Wouldn’t felt right!”

Hill is holding his G3 Camps in Texas today, Wednesday and Friday; the USA Basketball minicamp begins today and runs through Thursday in preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Madrid. The Americans have already qualified for the tournament and the camp is an opportunity to get acquainted with coach Mike Krzyzewski and the staff.

Reported by the Indianapolis Star

Chris Copeland feels blessed to join Pacers

Chris Copeland waited longer than most for the big NBA money, overcoming personal tragedy and logging several years playing overseas to do it.

The newest member of the Indiana Pacers promises fans will hear him use one word over and over during the upcoming season because of that.

“Blessed,” he said. “You’re going to hear it all year. I look up every day and thank God that I’m here.”

The Pacers confirmed Copeland’s signing over the weekend after he agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract July 5. He traveled to Indianapolis on Monday and met the media at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“He’s a great addition to our team because he’s a guy that can come in off the bench and create his own shot or get into the paint,” Pacers President Larry Bird said in a statement. “He’s a good guy and a great competitor and we’re happy to have him join us.”

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

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