The Pacers frustrating loss to the Knicks on Wednesday night was not the only news to emerge from the team during their trip to New York. The NBA national writers in the area also had access to the team which generated additional news surrounding the team.
This combined with the injury news surrounding Tyrese Haliburton’s knee and elbow make for some drama building up around the Fieldhouse. He are a few topics of interest to discuss in the comments:
- ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had Tyrese Haliburton on his podcast, and while Woj spent much of the time rehashing the old news of how Hali handled his trade from Sacramento, the ESPN info man made a minor comment late in the conversation that were worth a hmm. Earlier in the pod, Woj relayed a story about Tyrese that Kevin Pritchard had told him prior to his conversation with Hali, which one would assume wasn’t the only topic Woj and KP discussed. So toward the end of the episode, Woj mentioned the future of the Pacers with Tyrese, Mathurin and then added Myles Turner, making it sound like an extension was a formality at this point. This is something it seems Woj would have said differently if he wasn’t better informed.
- Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer has been a great source of Pacers intrigue and had plenty to report regarding the Pacers as they head into the trade deadline sweet spot over the next few weeks. For starters, Chris Duarte and Goga Bitadze are available which may not be shocking both players could help make bigger deals happen and may also welcome the move. Well, Bitadze would certainly welcome it and Fischer indicated the Pacers and Goga’s reps would at least work together to get him new opportunity. He also mentioned Daniel Theis returning would push Goga further out the door. So, apparently Theis has realized playing in Indy (and more importantly with Tyrese Haliburton) may not be so bad after all.
- As for Duarte, it has been rough to watch him struggle of late. His extended minutes due to injuries against the Knicks revealed a player who was active defensively, on the glass and even offensively. However, his confidence appears shot, most noticeably with his perimeter shot. The emergence of Andrew Nembhard and Aaron Nesmith along with the remarkable production that has made Buddy Hield a key players has pushed Duarte down the depth chart. This is one of several situations that has played out differently than anyone at the Fieldhouse thought it may before the season. Now everyone has to adjust which may mean finding Duarte and better situation.
- Power forward remains an obvious need for the Pacers and among the players reportedly targeted by the team is John Collins, who will be at the Fieldhouse with the Hawks on Friday. Also, there was mention of OG Anunoby, the former IU star who would be a wonderful fit with the Pacers depending on the deal, of course.
- Fischer also mentioned his latest info on Myles Turner, reporting that interest from teams like the Mavs, Lakers, Pelicans and Hornets has waned. However, if the extension talks don’t bear any fruit, the Knicks and Raptors may be willing to deal. Seems like if word gets out that Turner’s extension isn’t happening, there will be plenty of teams renewing their interest in the big fella.
- So, here we are with a Pacers team that could make the playoffs as is, but have two pending situations that could alter the team drastically. First, Haliburton’s health which hopefully will be a weeks not months (had to) situation as far as his return to the court this season. Secondly, Turner’s extension situation which appears headed toward good news, but as we learned from the game in New York, that news can flip in a hurry as circumstances around the team change.
- On a lighter note, Haliburton remains No. 8 in NBA All-Star votes for Eastern Conference backcourt players. Right now, Haliburton playing in the All-Star game takes on more significance than ever considering that if he does indeed play, then the injury scare we are currently enduring will not turn into a serious situation, ruining a monster season from the Pacers star.
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