After a single four-hour practice on Saturday, the Indiana Pacers season is officially underway and the earliest reports from the Indianapolis media is that things went well -- except that the new players acted as if they were auditioning for a part in Cast Away. The newbies were lost on their own little islands as they tried to grasp the concepts of coach Jim O'Brien's offense, but who cares as long as they understand defense, right?
But they aren't expected to be perfect on their opening day together and the growing pains will continue as the Pacers prepare for a month-long preseason that sends them across the globe and back before tipping things off on Oct. 28 at the Heat.
So check out some links after the jump that discuss Jeff Foster's love for his face mask, team president Larry Bird's assist to the Indiana Fever, as well as the eerie similarities between Tyler Hansbrough and Tim Tebow.
- As the local media was focused on what was happening with the women of Conseco "Reggie Miller" Fieldhouse yesterday, the Indianapolis Star's Mike Wells kept us covered on the first day of the Pacers training camp. In his notebook, you'll find Earl Watson and Dahntay Jones expressing their difficulties in adjusting to the new offense, along with the possibility of Foster wearing his face mask all season. Wells also tweeted that Jones will be a big help for the Pacers defense this season.
- Cliff Brunt of the Associated Press examines how the Pacers are striving to improve their play on the defensive side of the court this season.
- Tim Tebow = Tyler Hansbrough? It's true, according to the Bleacher Report. The article looks at the similar "hero" career paths for the college superstars, and it makes the prediction that both will falter significantly in their respective professional leagues.
- The Indiana Pacers Examiner offers some opinions on the recent news in Pacer Land.
- Former Pacers point guard Travis Best launched the Travis Best Foundation during festivities at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Best, who is from Springfield, also received help from Charles Barkley during the program. The foundation is designed to benefit underserved youth and non-profit organizations focused on sports and education in Best's hometown. You can Facebook the foundation for more information.
- While the Pacers are just starting their run to the NBA Finals, their WNBA counterparts are nearing the end of their quest for a first WNBA title. The Fever defeated the Detroit Shock yesterday to reach the Finals for the first time.
- Larry Bird gave the Fever a significant attendance boost yesterday when he purchased all 8,000 seats in the balcony of the Fieldhouse. WTHR reported that all the free tickets were gone within two hours. Star columnist Bob Kravitz writes about the Fever's wild ride to the Finals and into the hearts of basketball fans.