This morning, Indianapolis Star beat writer Mike Wells reported that the team would not be making a decision on David West’s playing status for tonight’s game in Chicago (at 8:00 pm) until after this morning’s shoot around. That practice session has presumably concluded. Yet we still haven’t gotten any word from the team on whether or not he will play.
If not, it means that the team’s new starting power forward, who had his torn ACL surgically repaired this summer, would not make his Pacers debut until the regular season. That isn’t ideal obviously, but the good news is that the reasons for holding him out are, by all official accounts, precautions based on West’s need to improve his conditioning.
West said his surgically-repaired left knee has felt fine — he’s not wearing a brace — during the practices. His biggest issues are getting into game shape and becoming familiar with the offensive and defensive schemes.
“It’s going to take some time, I know that,” West said. “Learning the terminology and some of the particular things that the team wants to do and learning the guys’ tendencies. Every day we have good days of practice we get closer to our goal.”
West added the following comments in a piece by Conrad Brunner that was published today on Pacers.com.
West has looked strong in practice since joining the team as a free agent last week, and he scored 13 points in a 24-minute intrasquad scrimmage during Fan Jam on Sunday at Conseco Fieldhouse. Whether West will play tonight, however, remains to be seen. His surgically repaired knee is not the issue, rather the conditioning time missed in rehab.
“We’ve kind of just been playing it by ear in terms of making sure my conditioning is getting better, and really having a good sense of what’s going on,” West said. “I don’t want to be out there disrupting the flow and the way guys are working. We knew that was going to take some time in terms of guys getting used to me, me getting used to guys and the system.
“I think I’ll be all right. Patience is more just making sure we’re covering all our bases. I don’t want to get out there and be a deer in headlights, just be completely lost. Obviously, that would disrupt the ability of this team to play well and get better. We’ve been going with the flow, playing it by ear, a lot of communication going on. (Monday) was a good day. We’ll see how I feel (Tuesday).”
Stay tuned for the final word on tonight’s starting lineup.