"Yeah, I'm back," C.J. Miles said after practice on Wednesday.
The Pacers' swingman has been down with a nagging calf injury for a couple of weeks, so he's taking advantage of the off days this week to get his wind back and prepare for game action. No doubt, returning home to Dallas on Saturday to face the Mavericks will provide a little extra motivation to be ready to play on Saturday.
Miles returns to a more structured reserve role as a relatively healthy roster heads into the final 18 games of the season. Three-J will still be looking to shoot the rock, but now he'll have playmakers Ty Lawson and Rodney Stuckey alongside which should free up space on the perimeter for Miles to do his thing. Hopefully, the nagging injuries all three have dealt with recently will remain a thing of the past so we can see what this reserve unit can do on the floor together.
Lawson has not fully participated in practice the past two days but did put up shots and work through the team's offensive sets. He expressed little concern that he'll be ready to play in Dallas on Saturday.
As you can hear in Frank Vogel's comments below, the team has the day off on Thursday after what he termed a training camp-type practice on Wednesday and then hanging out with full season ticket holders at Hinkle Fieldhouse last night. Despite the momentum building after consecutive wins, the odd break in the schedule remains a benefit for the Pacers to help shore up the team's health and allow additional time to integrate Lawson.
The Pacers will need to be ready to roll in Dallas considering they will find a Mavs team that remains in playoff contention in the West but is riding a four-game losing streak, including the last two at home.