The Pacers made it through day one of training camp and Rick Carlisle delivered on his Media Day promise that defense would be a main emphasis, at a 2-to-1 clip for his developing squad.
Following practice, Carlisle praised the lineup of TJ McConnell, Bennedict Mathurin, Aaron Nesmith, Terry Taylor and Isaiah Jackson for being ‘dominant’ against other lineups. That group would be considered a second unit, so the day one ‘starters’ were Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Chris Duarte, Jalen Smith and Myles Turner.
In defensive-minded situations, that second unit on paper would certainly be better, but these lineups are far from settled. Carlisle said he expects to use at least a 10-man rotation and considering his willingness to tinker with lineups, there will likely be a few iterations of the starting lineup.
But, with the desperate need to improve defensively, it appears the Pacers are off to a good start addressing that development need throughout the playing rotation. As IJax revealed, they worked “way more” on defense than they did at this time last year.
Here’s what Carlisle and a few players said after practice.
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With Pacers embracing rebuild, Myles Turner’s days in Indiana are numbered: Kravitz - The Athletic
“This much we know to be true: Turner’s days in Indiana are numbered, which is both mildly sad and perfectly understandable. He needs/wants out, and Indiana is moving in a new direction. Everybody’s on the same page. He will be a free agent at season’s end, and he’s not staying in Indiana, his home for the past seven years. There’s no black hat or white hat here, not like there was with some other Pacers stars — Paul George, Victor Oladipo — who’ve demanded out of Indiana. Turner gave the Pacers seven good years, and at this point, heading into his eighth season, both sides have made it clear the relationship is not going to last.”
Doyel: Enjoy Pacers’ special young frontcourt, while it’s still here
“Will he get the chance to play with Haliburton in the 2022-23 regular season? Probably, sure. Assuming he doesn’t sign an extension with the Pacers – the sides are not close, financially – Turner is most likely to be dealt close to the NBA trade deadline of Feb. 9, 2023.”