Pacers forward Chris Copeland earned a free agent deal with the team after finishing last season on a shooting tear from behind the arc for the New York Knicks. Copeland ended the season in New York making 42% of his three-point shots, a nice option to have on the bench for an offensive burst.
The shots haven't been falling for Copeland so far with the Pacers and no one needs to tell him about it. In the last game against the Mavs, Copeland made his first three-pointer but then went on to finish three of 10 from downtown which was actually an improvement, upping his three-point preseason totals to 5 of 25 (20%).
Those numbers are still far below expectations and Copeland is well aware that he was paid to come in an knock down those shots. But according to this report from Scott Agness, Cope isn't looking for excuses or running from the facts. He admits his shooting is off and he's struggling to find his rhythm while dealing with higher expectations. Fortunately, it is preseason and he is getting enough reps to work through his issues to get comfortable with the new surroundings and teammates.
"To be totally candid with ya'll, man, when you get out there and you want to be everything that they want you to be - from the organization, from the fans, I would like to be everything and more that they thought they got with me," he said with such concern in his voice. "I miss one or two and it got to my head early. Thank God for coach and my teammates to telling me to keep shooting and help build my confidence. It still hasn't been falling like I want it to but it's gonna come. I'm very positive of that."
"For me, it was just more of a mental thing, trying to make sure I'm doing right and making everybody happy [that they signed me]."
The Pacers are at the UC tonight in Chicago to play the Bulls, so a few three-balls from Cope would come in handy. Frank Vogel expects his full team to be available to play. Whether they all will play remains to be seen. I would expect Danny Granger and Paul George to be the most likely players to remain out since they were not simply resting on Wednesday. But if they feel good, both will probably want to get back in action.
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