The Pacers had several new players and/or familiar players taking on new roles in the season opener on Thursday, so I thought it would be interesting to look around the league at how several recent former Pacers fared in their respective openers.
- Let's start with the big fella. Roy Hibbert started at center for the Lakers and had a "good Hibbert game" playing 28 minutes with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in the Lakers 112-111 loss to the Timberwolves. Not sure how many times Hibbert fell during play but I believe the over paid.
- Luis Scola started for the Raptors against the Pacers and proved to be a favorable spread lineup matchup for the Pacers. C.J. Miles was able to guard Scola who may ended up giving way to Patrick Patterson who was able to do some damage with his perimeter shot. Scola played 17 minutes and didn't take a shot but finished with 8 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
- Chris Copeland started for the Milwaukee Bucks (seriously) but played just 19 minutes, making a pair of threes to end the game with 8 points and 2 rebounds. Cope's spot in the lineup is temporary since Giannis Antetokounmpo was serving a one-game suspension for a playoff flagrant foul on Mike Dunleavy. Still, it appears Cope will get some burn with the Bucks who were burned by the Knicks last night, 122-97.
- Another surprise starter was Lance Stephenson at small forward for the Clippers. Lance also only played 19 minutes with 7 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Both Paul Pierce and Jamal Crawford played more minutes off the bench, but the starting role should keep Lance in a good mood with the Clips who opened with a 111-104 win over the Kings.
- David West started life as a reserve big in San Antonio with 18 minutes off the bench for the Spurs, adding 8 points and 2 rebounds. West had to watch the Spurs stumble down the stretch in a 112-106 loss to the Thunder.
- C.J. Watson played 21 reserve point guard minutes for Orlando in a tough 88-87 loss for the Magic to the Wizards. Watson was just 1-6 from the field with 2 points, 1 assist and 1 steal but must've been doing something right on the floor since the Magic were +17 when he was on the floor.
- Donald Sloan made the roster with the Brooklyn Nets and also played 15 minutes off the bench in the home opener which the Nets lost to the Bulls, 115-100. Sloan finished with 2 points, 2 rebounds and a steal soaking up some minutes made available with Jarrett Jack sitting out the game with a bad hammy.
- Damo Rudez played five minutes for the Timberwolves, making his only shot to finish with 2 points and 1 rebound.
- Solomon Hill...wait, Solo is still on the Pacers.