The Pacers return to action on Wednesday night in San Antonio for the middle game of their current three-game road trip.
For the first time since midway through the first quarter of game one, it appears the Pacers will be fully healthy when they face the Spurs. Pacers beat reporter, J. Michael reports that barring any setbacks, TJ Leaf will be available for reserve minutes.
Leaf was hurt one minute into his first run of the season against the Grizzlies on opening night. Thaddeus Young and Kyle O’Quinn have filled those minutes in the past three games. All three player bring a little something different to the table, but Leaf’s ability to spread the floor and shoot the three will be a nice option for the Pacers, assuming he can defend and rebound well enough to stay on the floor.
Speaking of defense, the Pacers have been frustrated by the new freedom of movement rules which has hampered their ability to physically defend. J. Michael also reported that the team reached out to the NBA about how the new rules are being called. The frustration has to be with the consistency, or lack there of with how the tough and holding fouls are being called.
“It’s going to be a challenge for the league to call it the same. We’re calling so many fouls, a lot of it off the ball, that even during the course of the game it changes,” said McMillan, who lamented his team’s inability to stay in front of Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague in Monday’s 101-91 loss to the Timberwolves. “We’re trying to adjust to the rules with these touch fouls, grabbing and touching can be called a foul every possession down the floor. It would screw up the game. You’re not calling it every time down the floor, therefore something needs to change.”
Through the first four games, the Pacers are averaging 22.8 fouls while their opponents have been whistled for 19.8 fouls per game.
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