The Pacers are one week into training camp and ‘competitive’ is the most common word used to describe the team’s work so far. After the first practice, Rick Carlisle told the media the blue team, normally the second unit, had dominated the defensive-centric practice.
The next day, Tyrese Haliburton made sure to find a mic to declare his starting group the winners for the day. The continual emphasis on defense has helped maintain the intensity. Additional competitive juices are flowing during late practice shooting drills when making 20 of 25 three-pointers from around the arc earns the player an opportunity to ring the courtside bell, letting everyone know they had a quality shooting round.
Even with a ten (or more?) man playing rotation expected, there will be plenty of competition for those spots in the playing rotation. After taking Saturday off, Carlisle mentioned on Sunday, that they continue to mix up the playing lineups and are starting to find some interesting combinations (that work, one can assume).
That’s good news for fans of Oshae Brissett or Goga BItadze or other players who may be missing if you count up ten players likely to play. What Carlisle hasn’t specified is that while there may be a 10-man rotation in games, it may not be the same ten players every game. The bottom line is that opportunities will be aplenty for players deserving a look.
Now they just have to stay healthy.
Also on Monday, the Pacers had a press event touting 500 days until the NBA All-Star game next season. We also learned that the Lakers were really close to giving the Pacers two future first round draft picks for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. Oh, they were going to throw in Russell Westbrook, too. Is it me or has this story been reported twice a week for the past two months.
Oh well, Myles Turner remains in Indy and is big presence at camp, just playing and trying to help the youngsters as the team prepares for their first preseason game on Wednesday at Charlotte.
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