The Pacers will wake up in Cleveland on Saturday morning ahead of their first preseason game against the Cavaliers at 7 p.m. ET. The team will set up a traveling bubble for three nights in Cleveland with a second game slated for Monday night.
Prior to hopping the plane on Friday the Pacers had a final workout in Indy. Domantas Sabonis summed up the preseason game one goal succinctly when he referenced all of the changes the team may experience in their first game under Nate Bjorkgren, but ultimately had to “play tough and compete.”
That has been the Pacers calling card over the past several seasons, through a couple of coaching changes. No reason that culture can’t maintain through a different style of play. Sabonis was light on specifics when asked about what fans will notice, but continually referenced the team playing much faster and also in a different style than he’s ever played whether it be in the NBA or Europe.
Bjorkgren will not have the expected starting five available with T.J. Warren (foot) out, but he expects to sub early and often, as he put it. There will be big lineups, small lineups and really small lineups.
As preseasons go, this is one of the most intriguing in many years with such and expected difference in the style of play at both ends. What really raises the intrigue is to see if and how a team that looks so familiar on the surface of the roster can successfully make the transition and look different.
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