The Pacers returned to the win column by beating the Magic after losing their prior two games, but there were plenty of other returns to discuss from the Fieldhouse on Monday.
Frank Vogle returned to the Fieldhouse to coach for the first time from the opposing bench. He was able to get this game out of the way without too many distractions thanks to his team playing on a back-to-back.
Paul George returned to action after missing a game with a sprained ankle. He was questionable up to game time but gave it a go against his old coach. While he didn’t have his shooting touch, he did help the Pacers put away the Magic with their best team defensive effort of the season.
Monta Ellis returned to the regular starting lineup. After coming off the bench in Philly and starting along with C.J. Miles on Saturday, Ellis was back in his regular spot which Nate McMillan wants to stick with going forward.
Rodney Stuckey’s imminent return from a hamstring injury is a big factor in Monta remaining a starter. Stuck looked ready to go during some pre-game workouts and will soon give the reserve unit a slashing, scoring threat, again.
Stuckey will team up with C.J. Miles who returned to his comfortable role off the bench, scoring 16 points and knocking down four three-point shots. Miles likes the freedom he has to attack with the reserve unit and it shows.
Finally, the biggest return was Kevin Seraphin, returning to game action in a big way. After not playing against Boston, Seraphin made a huge difference on both ends of the floor, making hustle plays and saving offensive possessions which helped the Pacers put away the Magic in the second half. That effort should be rewarded going forward which will dig into the minutes of Al Jefferson and Lavoy Allen.
All of this from a 88-69 win made for an interesting Monday night at the Fieldhouse. Hopefully things will be equally entertaining when LeBron and the Cavs show up on Wednesday.