The Indiana Pacers return to training camp, injuries, and the new ball

The Indiana Pacers are getting ready for training camp a little early.

Older members of the Indiana Pacers agreed last month that they were going to return to Indiana early and start training camp.

Pacers’ guard Malcolm Brogdon had this to say on The Woj Pod:

Brogdon continued by saying the Pacers don’t have those superstar players that can just come back and be great. The reason they all agreed to come back early was to get that head start on teams to really hit the ground running when the season starts.

Getting well versed in Rick Carlisle’s style of play is important as well as figuring out the balance of structure.

Brogdon to Carlisle on what this team needs, “Structure. His teams thrive because he provided enough structure … teams that have the right amount of structure have the foundation they need, the motion offense they can rely on but also the freedom to play their game”.

The day is now September 16th and the Pacers as a team have been back in the Ascension St. Vincent Center for the past three days.

Prior to Brogdon’s appearance on the Woj Pod, the Pacers’ players met in Los Angles and played pick-up as a team bonding exercise.

Something they haven’t been able to do much during the ongoing pandemic. Also factoring in the rollercoaster of a season with unstable coach-player relationships and health problems with the team – this was a needed reboot.

Since Brogdon went on The Woj Pod, there have been two concerning bits of injury news around the team.

Edmond Sumner tore his Achilles tendon and underwent successful surgery on Sept. 13th – the same day the Pacers reported to camp early. He’ll likely be out for the season.

Also, T.J. Warren was announced to be out indefinitely after his foot was said to be healing at a slower pace than anticipated. If he’s out past the end of October, he will have missed 300 days with this injury.

For perspective, Victor Oladipo miss 377 days for his ruptured quadriceps tendon.

Warren took to Twitter to respond to the injury news surrounding him and the team.

“Pacer fans. Just wanted you to hear this straight from me. I’m making sure I do this rehab process right so that I can get back on the court as soon as I can and be the best that I can”.

Here’s what we have seen so far from the Pacer’s return to training camp.

The Pacers’ social media team posted these photos of the players practicing:

https://twitter.com/Pacers/status/1437882825919901705?s=20

Here you can see Brogdon, T.J. McConnell, Chris Duarte, and Justin Holiday (plus Jeremy Lamb if you look hard enough) back in the Pacers practice facility.

One of the more exciting things I’ve seen so far from the camp is actually two things. Lobs and Goga Bitadze, who is back with the team after dealing with personal issues that kept him sidelined for the NBA Summer League.

Here you can see Justin Holiday throwing Goga Bitadze a lob while being guarded by Oshae Brissett:

This was one of the things Carlisle mentioned in his introductory press conference on how he could utilize Myles Turner in a better way to allow the duo of Turner and Domantas Sabonis to better co-exist.

It’s good to see Goga back in Indiana and healthy.

We also get to see McConnell, who is fresh off his $35M contract, doing what he does best, being a defensive pest:

If you slow that video down, you can see something quite interesting for the NBA fan. The new Wilson NBA basketball:

The expectations have been raised for this Pacers team. With the Hiring of Hall of Fame coach, Rick Carlisle in the offseason, there’s no secret this team wants to win now.

The players have shown that priority with their commitment to coming back to get ready for the upcoming season.

The Pacer’s first preseason game is set in just nineteen days where Indiana will play the New York Knicks on Oct. 5th. The regular season is just over a month away with the first game being Oct. 20th vs the Charlotte Hornets.