The Indiana Pacers made it through their first week of training camp and will rest their weary legs today.
On Saturday, Jim O'Brien divided up the Blue and White teams for an intense scrimmage which the Blue team dominated. Pacers.com video of the scrimmage is well worth a watch or three.
Roy Hibbert made a big impact for the Blue as they ran a lot of their half-court sets through the big fella. He looked real comfortable in that role even providing the back-breaking 17-footer from the elbow when all else failed.
The other glaring item of goodness I took away from the brief video was Danny Granger's assertive play, not only coming off high screens to knock down shots be even finding a rolling Hibbert for a layup on one play. The last half of the video caught Granger on the sidelines in a full lather imploring his team to continue punishing the White team. Can't help but think that's a little something picked up during the competitive scrimmages he had throughout the summer with Team USA.
Mike Wells has a fabulou wrap upof week one with his first-hand observations from the Fieldhouse. After digesting the practice videos and reading Mike's thoughts, I can say things aren't going exactly as expected so far in training camp which may require shifting some expectation.
Tyler Hansbrough still isn't fully participating in camp scrimmages even though he's supposed to be cleared for contact. Seems more than a little sketchy to me and can't just be a conditioning issue. If so, you'd think they would be trying to build up his conditioning with at least a couple minutes of run. As we sit here today, my expectations for Hansbrough playing significant minutes are null. We'll see where we're at next week.
The team-only discussion of defense? Whoa! That 's nothing but a good thing and the subtle point Wells raised about everybody being healthy enough to practice (Hansbrough is practicing, just not scrimmaging) helps because they're all going through the grind together at the same time. With a lot of new young players that are eager to learn combined with vets eager to hang onto playing time, the intensity is naturally higher as everyone focuses on how to earn a role.
Expectations for Paul George are higher than I thought I could raise them for his rookie year. I honestly was expecting minimal minutes from the rookie as he developed his game and physical stature to play in the league. But suddenly, with Brandon Rush out for the first five games, I'm expecting George to be an option off the bench for JOB. If he can produce early as he has in camp, he may carve out a role in the playing rotation. That may still be raising the bar to high for the 20-year-old rookie, but it is not out of the question.