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Indiana Pacers: Week In Review #3

The latest breakdown of the week's Pacers-NBA themed chatter with cameos made by URO, the Comeback Kid x2, a frosty NBA owner, and a true Indiana sports' hero.

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Joe Robbins

Preseason Blues

Game #1 - Pacers at Mavericks: Forget about life after Lance Stephenson and Paul George, how about life without Roy Hibbert and George Hill? The Pacers got a taste of it in Dallas last Sunday, and it had a very unpleasant Donald-Sloan-should-never-play-more-than-garbage-time stench to it. Final score: Mavericks 106, Pacers 98.

Game #2 - Pacers at Cavaliers: Mark this down as the Pacers first encounter against Guy Who Screens His Own Teammates, and he didn't disappoint, scoring 26 points in just under 24 minutes. On the plus side, Chris Copeland had one of his best games as a Pacer, beating up on some Unidentified Running Objects pseudo-named Chris Crawford, Joe Harris, and Alex Kirk. Final Score: Cavaliers 98, Pacers 93.

Next Preseason Tilt: October 18th, Dallas Mavericks at Indiana Pacers, 7:00 EDT

Confessions, confessions

Hi, my name's Matt and I'm a Roseaholic.

[Pause to collect myself]

Whew, it feels good to finally get that off my chest. For the past six years, I've spent every waking second of my life surfing the web for Derrick Rose news and updates, and League Passing Bulls games. When I'm really sad and lonely, I play back parts of the Pacers-Bulls series in 2011, just so I can hear John Barry deify him one more time. For people like me, the last few years have been hard. With #1 on the sidelines, news/updates have decreased by a staggering 0.3%. Thankfully, as Rose prepares to make his latest comeback, ESPN The Magazine has rekindled my addiction with this flawlessly written piece by Wright Thompson. For those In-The-Closet Roseaholics, I offer you a breakdown:

What We Already Knew

  • D-Rose grew up on the south side of Chicago in an iffy neighborhood, and was lucky to get out sans bodybag or prison cell. As Thompson preaches, this isn't exactly a unique circumstance among professional athletes, but it's noteworthy nonetheless. Even if it's the best player on a rival team, you always cheer--secretly, if necessary--for guys who beat the odds.
  • D-Rose is quiet. In a story all about him that registers 4,069 words, exactly 299 of them came directly from the mouth of Derrick Rose, with 27 of those borrowed from his MVP speech.
  • John Calipari said some things about one of his former players and ESPN wrote it down. Yeah, I know, in other "duh" news: green beans are green, dinosaurs are extinct (other than the ChrisBoshosaurus, of course), and Dr. Richard Kimble didn't really do it. What's unclear is who salivated more at the opportunity to involve Calipari: Calipari himself or his part-time television network.
What We Didn't Know
  • "More than two years" just sounds so trite, doesn't it? When it comes to our Beloved Hobbled Rose, we yearn for more spectacle. Thompson must agree because he released this bombshell in the story: ", a Thursday, is the 880th day since Rose blew out his ACL and began his rehab..." Don't worry, you're not alone. I'm doing it, too:
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  • Derrick Rose loves to read, but with a catch. In what may have been the most hilariously confusing part of the feature, Thompson wrote:

Sitting at the steakhouse, thinking about how his life has changed, he (Rose) reveals his latest hobby.

"Reading," he says, shaking his head.

He sheepishly admits that he's started a lot of books but hasn't finished one yet.

  • Derrick Rose likes grilled cheese sandwiches. A lot. In fact, he orders them at super fancy restaurants even though they're not on the menu. Thompson did what any good writer would do with this information: dramatized it to emotionally hook his readers. Naturally, he surmised that ordering a grilled cheese sandwich is D-Rose's way of reconnecting with his poverty-stricken youth. One more time: grilled cheese sandwiches = ties to poverty and childhood. This has to be devastating news to wannabe grownups everywhere.

  • How does all this relate to the Pacers? It doesn't. What can I say? Once a Roseaholic, always a Roseaholic.

P.S. Tongue-In-Cheek Mode off: Rose fatigue or not, this really was a well-written piece, and well worth your time to read.

Minutes Shminutes

By now you've heard about the NBA's intention to shorten a preseason game to 44 minutes, you know, for "basketball reasons." You've also heard from coaches (Frank Vogel included) and players alike who've rightly deduced that the real problem is the amount of games played, not the length of games.

Well, you had to know what was coming next: What? Modern-day players and coaches bristling at an outdated aspect of the game? Enter the Old-and-Crusty Brigade to emasculate the day, starring He Who Says He Was Cut From His High-School Team But Really Wasn't.

"I love both of those guys, but as an owner who played the game, I loved playing,"Jordan told "If I wasn't playing 82 games, I still would've been playing somewhere else because that's the love for the game I had. As a player, I never thought 82 games was an issue."

Thanks, MJ. For the 3,678th time, we get it. You're the most passionate and competitive basketball player who ever stepped on the court. And in that spirit, we eagerly await your cranky underlings--cough, Charles Oakley, cough--to approve your message.

The Anti-Crusty Brigade

Maybe you've heard the story of Lauren Hill, maybe you haven't (for all of you Jimmy Fallonites still stuck in the 90s, that's Lauren with an "e" not "y," so please, tuck your precious Fugees' albums back beneath your pillow).

Hill's a teenager from Lawrenceburg, Indiana, who was recently diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Which means she likely won't live past December. Hill was also a pretty talented high-school basketball player, good enough to play on scholarship at Mount Saint Joseph's College, which she fully planned to do before receiving the heartbreaking news.

In support of her fight, the Pacers recently made Hill an "honorary benchwarmer" at a game to raise awareness for DIPG. In addition, the NCAA allowed Mount St. Joseph's to move up its season opener by a couple of weeks to fulfill Hill's lifelong wish to play college basketball. Both were touching gestures, no doubt, but honestly, they've got nothing on Hill's personal resolve (via Daily Mail Online):

'I never gave up for a second even when I got a terminal diagnosis; never thought about sitting back and not living life anymore.'

While there's no way I could ever properly honor Ms. Hill on this blog, let me just say in my best run-on prose: if I were 10 inches taller, 50-toned pounds heavier, and possessed the freakish natural talents of, say, 90's African phenom, Saleh ... and I was suddenly thrown onto an NBA court and instructed to compete against NBA athletes ... and I was told--to complete my professional-athlete profile--I could choose between Lauren Hill's competitive drive and Michael Jordan's famed competitive drive? Yeah ... I ain't picking #23's.

Gametime Threads

Mavs fan who sounds a lot like February-April Pacer fans in 2014:

Mavs shooting 36%

Feels more like 15%

by beachdrifter on Oct 12, 2014 | 7:06 PM reply

Overzealous Mavs fan after beatdown of Pacers:

With the emergence of Charlie V that makes Aminu expendable

would really like to see a mid-season trade for Rondo who is probably leaving in free agency anyways.

by quincyyyyyy on Oct 12, 2014 | 10:25 PM reply

Dion being Dion:

99% chance Dion mumbled Ball Don't Lie after Stuckey missed the first FT

by DukePettyjohn on Oct 15, 2014 | 6:17 PM reply

"Imaginary argument" guy:

People are like sayin' "The Cavaliers are good, but they have no depth", and I'm like "You'd better hope the Matrix didn't hear you, cause he'll come to your house, kick down the door, take your woman, burn down your place and leave you cryin' in the ashes".

That made no sense, but the point is, I felt a lot better about the depth on this team once Shawn Marion joined.

Play Hard 
Play Together 
Play to Win 
and Have Fun

by MatthewH on Oct 15, 2014 | 11:41 PM up reply

Dion being Dion II:

sick of waiters going into chuck mode, drive to the basket idiot.

by CleveTownTM on Oct 15, 2014 | 6:46 PM reply

Cavs fan being superstitious just to be superstitious:

I kind of want to lose atleat 1 game this preseason, so we don't hit the season too cocky

J Rod

by j_rhodes on Oct 15, 2014 | 7:22 PM reply

Dion Being Dion III:

Oh Waiters......why are you still taking those shots. The offensive movement was beutiful too but he just....stopped and popped.

*Insert Mathew DellaveJesus comment here*

by Razgriz1 on Oct 15, 2014 | 7:50 PM reply

Now, time to watch Godzilla five months too late. Until Next week...