Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reports:
A star is being born in Indiana, Hansbrough going for a career-high 30 points in Tuesday night’s manic 119-117 victory over the New York Knicks. He got on this roll five games ago, and has now scored 26, 21, 20, 29 and 30 points, the most consecutive 20-plus point games by a Pacers player all season.
Two things have happened:
For one, he’s getting playing time. You wonder, if Jim O’Brien had stuck around, would Hansbrough have ever found the floor? Quick answer: No.
Two, he has gotten into NBA shape. Remember, he went more than eight months without working out, without playing basketball or jogging or doing much of anything besides waiting for the dizziness to subside. It wasn’t until roughly three weeks ago that Hansbrough started to feel like he did at North Carolina.
“You go all that time doing nothing, and now you’re playing against the best players in the world, you’re not going to be at your best,” Hansbrough said. “. . . To be honest, I didn’t even know if I was going to be ready for training camp. The doctors gave me the OK, I went from doing nothing to six-hour practices. It was miserable for a while. Then there were stretches when coach O’Brien wasn’t playing me, so I wasn’t getting any experience.”