Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Pacers’

Rookie Diary, Volume 8: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Turner with five blocks against the Raptors

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses his 2015-16 as the regular season ends and the playoffs begin for Indiana, and his plans for the summer.

The regular season was very up and down, but for the most part I feel like it was very successful. I was able to come out here and do what I needed to accomplish and do my best to help the team get to the playoffs. That’s where we’re at, so I feel like it was a good season overall.

The big games I had are probably the best memories. I had a really big game against the Golden State Warriors. I had 31 points that game. Golden State just proved the other night were the best team in the regular season. Scoring that much on a team like that is pretty incredible. Blocking LeBron, that was pretty cool. I’ll probably remember that for a long time as well. And to be able to start as many games as I did, 30 of the 60 games I played this year, was great. Those are the three that stick out the most.

Earning a spot in the starting lineup was a big boost for my confidence. It meant that my teammates and the coaching staff had a lot of confidence in me as well, that they knew why they drafted me. To get a place in the starting lineup, especially early, that meant even more confidence for me. I was happy I was able to perform.

I proved to myself that I can play at this level. I never had any doubts about coming here and playing at this level, of course, but I didn’t know what to expect. But now I know I can really play at this level.

I wanted to try to make it to Toronto for All-Star weekend. I guess it’s ironic that I got to Toronto for the playoffs, so I guess I somewhat reached that goal. I wanted to be in the Rookie of the Year running. I wanted to try to make one the All-Rookie teams. Hopefully I’ll achieve that goal. My short-term goal was to establish a role on this team and get in the starting lineup. I told myself that I wanted to at least get out there and prove that I can play at this level. I feel like I accomplished those goals.

Making All-Rookie would be a payoff for all the work I’ve put in this year. That was a huge goal of mine coming out of summer league, so to achieve that goal, to have that respect from my peers and respect from the league, would mean a lot.

Being on a playoff team and playing with that pressure as a rookie will help me a lot in the future. It will be very important that I was able to get this experience early. It means there’s no excuses in the seasons to come. I know what it’s like and I’ll be ready to go. To have that experience early I think will be a help to the rest of my career, especially if we can make a deep run this year.

The thumb injury was the low point of the season. I was pretty depressed and couldn’t wait to get back out there. I’m happy with the way I used that time, though. I got my body better. I watched a lot of film. I look at it as a little negative, but I look at more positive than anything.

The physicality was the toughest adjustment. Everyone says speed of the game. The speed of the game came pretty easy to me. But the physicality – facing vets, adjusting to the calls, you don’t get a lot of calls as a rookie from the refs. That was definitely the toughest part for me to pick up.

I’ll be in Indianapolis most of the summer. We have not really talked about it much at all so I’m not sure with my teammates are doing, but I know I’m going to be here in Indianapolis. I’m not sure about summer league. My plan is to play. But it just depends on what the staff recommends and wants to do.

I definitely want to work on my post game a little bit more. Just have more of a repertoire down there. And improve my body, of course, and build off everything I did this year. I don’t want to have any drop offs from this year so I’m going to keep working this summer to improve my overall game.

To sum up the regular season of my rookie year, it was more than you bargained for. In a good way.

Rookie Diary, Volume 7: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Turner puts up big numbers in March

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off.

This week: Turner discusses how he can still feel like a rookie this late in the season and how the experience of having a prominent role for a team in the playoff picture, rare for a first-year player, can be beneficial in future seasons.

I still feel somewhat like a rookie. I can say that.

The biggest thing about it right now is that it’s almost like a new season is about to begin. The playoffs is a whole new intense atmosphere, it’s people making harder fouls a lot more often. People are out here grinding it out. Even these last few games, teams that have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs are playing hard. It’s like a whole new season.

It’s definitely ramped up. The teams we’re playing are playing really hard. We played Orlando the other day and they’re not going to make the playoffs but they played us really tough. In the East right now, we’re all competing really hard. Each game matters, even for the teams looking in at the playoff standings. This is an important time.

I’m scoreboard watching now. I wasn’t really doing it that much at the beginning of the season. But now I do check the playoff picture. The scores and the standings. We have the standings posted in our locker room. It shows all the standings, in the East and the West. I look at it every time I walk by.

It’s good to have this experience early, the playoff intensity and the playoff basketball experience early. I think that’s going to help me down the line. I’ll be ready for the pressures for years to come.

It’s gone by pretty fast for me, especially since I missed all those games because of the thumb injury. I think that made a big difference because I was just getting started when most rookies were hitting the wall. I was feeling good. I was feeling great coming off the injury. It was almost like I had fresher legs when I was just coming back.

The biggest way I don’t feel like a rookie anymore is that I have a set routine now. Before, at the beginning of the season, I was still trying to figure a lot of things out. What am I supposed to be doing? On game days, I’m like going through everything. Now everything feels so routine and normal, just a protocol of everything I do. Now I can go and already have my day planned and do what I need to get accomplished, especially on the game days. That’s one thing that feels a lot different. That’s a great thing.

I definitely miss first coming in and those first few games, that feeling of being out there for the first time. I do miss that feeling. That part does seem like a long time ago. I can say that. It does feel like it has been a while since those first few weeks. That shows the season can go by so fast. But I don’t have any drawbacks. I’ve just been excited to get my career going and I’m loving the direction it’s going in.

Rookie Diary, Volume 7: Kristaps Porzingis


VIDEO: Porzingis discusses his Steph Curry shot and his health

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Porzingis discusses how playing professionally in Europe before coming to the NBA gave him a unique advantage over rookies who came from college.

I’m doing a lot better physically. I was a little sick in L.A., but now I’m finally recovering to 100 percent and feeling better every day.

Emotionally it’s been tough. We had hoped to finish the road trip strong by beating Washington, but that didn’t happen, so that was frustrating, and then Sunday night we had a really tough game against Sacramento. We couldn’t really fight back and win the game. It was really frustrating to lose in front of our fans after that long road trip, but now we have two days off and we can recover mentally and physically and play well against Chicago on Wednesday.

We’re sticking together as a team, as a group. We’re trying to do the right things. We’re trying to play hard. It’s just not working out for us. During the season there has been a lot of ups and downs. It’s been a lot for us from a mental standpoint, just a lot going on. The mood isn’t as good as it was, obviously, because we’re losing now, but we’re trying to stay positive. We’re trying to fix the situation.

That’s something I’ve been through already. We had a similar situation in Spain last season. We started off really bad and then we kind of started to play better. The first of the season was a big struggle for us in Spain, so I kind of went through that already. Now it’s just the other way around. We started off playing good basketball and now we can’t find the way again. I’ve kind of been in this situation. I know what to expect. It’s just on a bigger stage.

That experience of two or three years playing professionally, the first one when I was kind of on a junior contract and not really with the first team, has definitely helped me. One thing, it’s just playing against grown men, day by day, and being there with the pressure. There’s pressure in college as well, but with the professionals it’s different. And you can be on a bad team. Most of the guys that come out of college and get drafted, they were on a good team in college and they were winning. That wasn’t my case. I think those years of experience in the ACB in Spain is really good for me now.

You never know that at the time. You’re living in the moment and whatever happens happens. But now, looking back, that obviously was good experience for me, those two years and I’m happy that I was in the situation that I was.

I never really had to think about whether to come to the United States for college and how that would have changed the way I looked at it. I had maybe two or three offers from Division II and Division III colleges, but I already had a professional contract. And those offers were not serious. They were like through Facebook. The coaches wrote me. It was funny to get those offers. I already had a professional contract. I couldn’t go to college.

When I was really young, when I didn’t have a professional contract, nobody really knew about me. Then once I started playing in the ACB, they knew my situation and they knew I wasn’t coming over. I think those two years, two and a half years, with the ACB team really helped me to develop and to see the real world, but at the same time it would have been fun to play in college and see how I do there.

I don’t know where I would have gone if I came to play in college instead of professionally in Spain. There are a lot of really good colleges, like Duke, Kentucky, Kansas. It would probably be one of those that I would like to go to. But you never know. That was never in my mind when I had the chance so I never really thought about it.

Rookie Diary, Volume 6: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Turner touches on variety of topics

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses the pressures and emotions of stepping into a playoff race in his first season.

I definitely feel it starting to ramp up. Every game means something now. Not like it didn’t mean anything before, but it’s like every game now, especially within the Eastern Conference, can really determine how far you go. In one day you can go from sixth place all the way to like 10th.

The change is most likely coming from the coaches’ perspective, the coaches’ point of view. They’re really on us a lot more about little things, whether it’s being in certain spots on defense or picking up our intensity on offense. The coaches are on us a lot more.

It can be a little hectic just knowing that the team is depending on you to fill your role and do stuff that’s never really been asked of you in your life. It can be a little tough. But at the same time it can be fulfilling as well.

It really depends on how you look at it. My approach is I take it day by day. You can’t let it be too straining on you. But you’ve got to make sure you approach it the right way.

I think the only thing that really needs to change is the way you look at your preparation, to make sure you get as much rest as you need. It’s completely different than college when the NCAA tournament was getting close. The difference in talent on the court speaks for itself. But I think it’s different in your preparation, how the coaches view things. In March Madness it’s almost like you can make a mistake and get away with it because you’re not playing as strong of a team all the time, especially in the first round. But in the NBA, anything can happen. You’ve got to be ready for anything. You can’t really make mistakes like that because one mistake can be very detrimental.

I know without a doubt this is a personal test. Hopefully I’m in this position a lot in my career with making that playoff push. But I’m pushing myself and I’m hoping to see the results from it.

My teammates haven’t really said anything to me about what to expect. I think it’s something you have to go through by yourself. But everybody’s remaining positive with me, telling me every time I make a mistake to keep my head up, to keep working, keep learning, keep growing. Things of that nature.

The coaches haven’t necessarily told me not to get caught up in the emotions, but I’m pretty sure that’s their mindset. They might be a little nervous. But I’m pretty sure everybody’s been here before.

I think my teammates are starting to establish that trust a little bit more, but they know I’ve never been here before so it’s still a work in progress. I know I’m very confident in my abilities. I’m a very confident player.

And, yes, I’m starting to get some flashbacks as the NCAA Tournament is about to start. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to be in it very long last year – we lost in the first round – so I didn’t really get to feel that true intensity. But right now, that same mentality I had to get prepared has stayed with me.

Rookie Diary, Volume 5: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Myles Turner soars in to swat Enes Kanter

Myles Turner of the Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses handling rookie hazing and how it doesn’t end even as he turns into one of the top players on the team.

Nothing really much has changed. Sometimes teammates joke with me a little, that I’m not a rookie any more, I’m too big-time for them now. Stuff like that. But nothing’s really changed. I’ve still got my rookie duties. Everybody still expects me to do what I do. Nothing has changed because the minutes have changed.

The guys have been consistent. I still have to get all the Gatorade and drinks for the bus. I still have to get the breadsticks. Those are the biggest responsibilities. Before every road trip I have to go to a place and get five or six boxes of breadsticks for the flight.

Another time, when we went to Toronto, I had to fill out everybody’s customs forms. Every single one for the team. That took about 25 or 30 minutes. And the rookies have to wait last in line to go through customs. I hate that.

Monta Ellis is probably the hardest on me among the veterans as far as the rookie treatment. He asks me to do a lot of stuff out of random when we’re on the road. It can be anything. It can be going out if he wants chicken wings. Or maybe he wants me to go to the corner store to get him Gatorade or something. Little stuff like that. He just does it to mess with me sometimes.

But I would never consider saying no to anything they expect me to do. It’s just something everybody has to go through. Everybody has to go through a little bit of rookie tormenting and what not. It’s a rite of passage.

It just depends on how you look at it. It can be grueling if you’re saying, “Aw, man. Here we go again. I have to do this.” Or you can just take it with a grain of salt and say you have to do it because it’s basically your responsibility.

But it definitely helps having another rookie, Joe Young, for some of this. It makes it a lot easier for sure. There was one week when he hasn’t been here, when he was in the D-League, so he’s been with us pretty much all year.

I figured all this would come up a lot more with my family and friends asking me about it, but it hasn’t really, surprisingly. They just ask me what it’s like guarding LeBron or Carmelo and stuff like that.

I know I’ll have my chance later in my career to be on the other side. I’ll probably go easy on the rookies my next couple of years. Down the road, I’ll probably ramp it up because of what I had to go through as a rookie. I don’t have any specific ideas yet. Not yet. I’m sure I’ll come up with some.

Pacers to appear on ‘The Bachelor’

The Indiana Pacers will appear on a future episode of 'The Bachelor'.

The Indiana Pacers will appear on a future episode of ‘The Bachelor’.

By Jeff Case

One of the most popular reality TV shows over the last 20 seasons has been ABC’s “The Bachelor”. This season’s eligible guy is Ben Higgins, a software salesman who lives in Denver, but hails from Indiana. He attended Indiana University. where he hung out with the stars on the team back then, future NBA first-round draft picks Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller. 

(According to the Indianapolis Star, Higgins and Zeller became friends and are still pals today).

As part of the show, Higgins is traveling back to his home state and the Pacers will be a part of an upcoming episode.

Pacers.com has more on why Higgins is back in his native state and how the Pacers got into the episode, which will feature George Hill, Paul George and coach Frank Vogel (and they’ve got a photo gallery from the taping, too):

Pacers fans will see some familiar faces on the next episode of “The Bachelor.” Paul George, George Hill, and Coach Frank Vogel are special guests on next Monday’s episode on ABC.

Current Bachelor Ben Higgins is a Warsaw, Ind. native and filming for this particular episode took place in his hometown. Ben’s date for the episode was Lauren B.

This isn’t the first time a member of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment family has appeared on a show from “The Bachelor” franchise. Indiana Fever All-Star forward Tamika Catchings appeared on an episode of “The Bachelorette in 2014.

Kevin Love finally makes the postgame Cavs photo

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers enjoy posting group Instagram photos of themselves. The problem is, somehow Kevin Love keeps getting left out of the picture. As a result, Love recently had to edit himself into a team photo to make sure he got in there.

But last night, things finally changed in Love’s favor. After beating the Pacers in overtime, the Cavs posed for a team photo. And this time, they included Kevin Love. As he posted on Instagram, he was pretty excited about this…

Great OT road win #squadUP #ontothenext #HELLYEAHHHHimadethepic

A photo posted by @kevinlove on

Curry, James, Kobe have NBA’s most popular jerseys

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 18: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors on January 18, 2016 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — During the recent holiday season, a bunch of people apparently got NBA jerseys as gifts — according to a release from the NBA, NBAStore.com had its largest Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) in history, with combined sales up 20 percent from the previous year. But which jerseys were the most popular? Here’s a look at the top 15 most popular jerseys, based on sales from October 2015 through December 2015, which features a conspicuous debut from one rated rookie…

1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
4. Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
5. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
6. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
9. James Harden, Houston Rockets
10. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls
11. Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
12. Paul George, Indiana Pacers
13. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
14. Chris Paul, L.A. Clippers
15. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Also, here are the ten most popular teams in terms of merchandise sold…

1.  Golden State Warriors
2. Chicago Bulls
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Los Angeles Lakers
5. New York Knicks
6. San Antonio Spurs
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Miami Heat
9. Boston Celtics
10. L.A. Clippers

Rookie Diary, Volume 3: Myles Turner


VIDEO: Myles Turner swats away James Harden

Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off. This week: Turner discusses the transition from college to the NBA compared to the jump just before from high school to college.

It’s a little weird to think I was in high school two seasons ago. I was actually just discussing that with one of my friends. It’s quite odd. Time flies. It feels like a month ago you were at the prom and what not, and now I’m here.

Going from college to the pros is definitely a bigger jump than high school to college. In high school, I had the chance to play with USA Basketball. That really got me ready for the whole college ball thing, as far as the speed of the game and what not. But going from college to the pros, the strength of the game is so much different. It’s crazy.

I check in with friends from high school and see how they’re doing, but everybody’s pretty much doing their own thing. It’s general conversation for the most part — how are things going? Just keeping everything real.

But I’ll get a lot of questions about the NBA. “How’s the money treating you?” “How are the girls?” “How is LeBron James?” “How’s Kevin Durant?” Little stuff like that. General questions that they don’t get to ask every day. Sometimes I have to decide between what to tell them and what not to tell them. But for the most part I’m pretty straight up with it.

Going from college to the NBA is hard socially as well. It’s hard. After classes at Texas, after practice, we’d all go hang out with each other. Now it’s like everybody has to go home to their families. It’s definitely a huge adjustment in that aspect. Everybody is not friends. You’re cool with everybody. You’re brothers. But at the end of the day everybody has their life away from the court as well.

One of my friends lives with me. He’s one of my best friends ever since elementary school. He goes to college up here. He runs track at Butler. Having him here definitely helps. Not having him here would hurt. For sure.

Sometimes I miss the social aspect of college, a little bit of the structure, just knowing what I’m going to be doing every day, just being able to hang out and stuff. But I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. I was tired of school. I once told my parents that once I’m done with school I’m done with school. But it’s a little different now. I want to go back for my degree because I’ve had good times.

I’d probably like to get my degree in counseling psychology. I’ve just always liked helping people. Helping people through a tough situation, a hard problem, I kind of get a kick out of that. I could see taking classes when I’m still playing, when it’s easier to do at some point after I get past my rookie season. Probably not this summer but next summer I’ll try and get ready for it.

Campus life was different. It’s your first time on your own, you have friends and everybody gets to hang out with each other. You’re on your own for the first time. It was fun. I loved the city of Austin. I would go back anytime I get an opportunity. The city itself is an amazing city. I love it there. The scenery, there’s always something to do. It’s a weird town — weird in a good way. It has a different vibe to it. I just love the city. All the different types of food and everything. That too.

It’s a lot slower here, but people are nice. They’re cool. It’s the Midwest. It’s not hard to adjust to because not a lot goes on here. I’m able to keep my head on straight.

It was a little rough at first because you don’t always have the same constant connection with teammates like you did in college, but I got used to it in the summertime. Having my friend here has been good. If he wasn’t here it’d definitely be harder. It’d be boring. You’d be sitting here talking to yourself at times.

Guys like Monta Ellis have their kids. It’s kind of odd. It’s almost like they’re old enough to be my dad in some aspects. It’s kind of funny. Sometimes my teammates try to make fun of me and call me “15,” like “15 years old” and stuff like that. I really don’t care about all that. They’re just kidding. It’s all in fun.

Rookie Diary, Volume 2: Myles Turner

VIDEO: Myles Turner readies for his first NBA season

Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks and Myles Turner of the Pacers will alternate on a weekly diary for NBA.com covering life as a rookie, from challenges and success on the court to adjusting to their new world off it. This week: Turner discusses being off the court due to injury, and his unique charity work.

I went to the doctor around 8 a.m., right before shootaround before the game against the Atlanta Hawks (Turner missed 21 games with a fractured left thumb). They told me the X-rays looked good and I was cleared to go. I didn’t play that night, but I was definitely excited. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to play so quickly, but our starting center, Ian Mahinmi, was out and our backup center, Jordan Hill, had tooth surgery when we had a back-to-back against Chicago and Milwaukee so I got a lot of minutes (Twenty-two and 17, respectively).

I had heard rumors that they might send me down to the D-League for a couple games to get my timing back and get acclimated to things. But with the injuries, they just threw me right back out there. I was more than happy to be out there and be producing.

I was ready to go. Conditioning-wise, I felt great and I had so much adrenaline that I really wasn’t tired. I was happy to be back out there. It felt fresh, it felt new. It was my first time out there in a long time. I was really excited, to say the least, and especially when I was at home Thursday against the Bucks. I got a big ovation.

That response meant a lot. The city and the team have a lot of confidence in me and they’re expecting big things from me for the future. To have a franchise and a fan base behind me like that, it just motivates me to get better and work harder.

My timing was a little off, with some of the plays we were running. But other than that it wasn’t that bad. Missing all that time wasn’t necessarily too much of a disadvantage. I actually felt pretty fresh out there. A lot of the guys, or most of the guys, in the league are probably tired at this point. They’ve been going for about six or eight weeks now. A lot of guys’ bodies are tired and I’m a little more fresh.

I’ve been involved in the community during my time away. There’s a campaign I have called WARM. It stands for We All Really Matter. It’s something my mom did when she was younger. She always kept little stuff in the back of her car, whether it was jackets, mittens or water, some little supplies that she could hand out to people in need. She did that when I was younger and just passed it on to me. Now that I have some of the funds to back it, I want to grow it more.

I’ve been putting together little care packages that include Kleenexes, water, a little bit of change, assortments of food, hand warmers, mittens, socks. Stuff like that. Anytime I see a homeless person standing out there on the block, I just go hand it to them. I’m trying to keep WARM going.

Anytime I’m driving and I see somebody and I’m not really late to practice or something, I’ll hand them out. I guess I do it 15 times a week. Some of the guys are really thankful, like, “Man, thank you so much. It means a lot.” I feel like it would be different if I had a camera crew following me around or something. I wouldn’t want people getting the wrong idea about what I was doing. The fact that it’s really genuine, I think they really appreciate and respect that.

Some of them will see my height and ask if I play basketball at all. I’ll just tell them, “Yeah, I play basketball in my spare time,” stuff like that. I won’t try to be anybody relevant or anything like that. But if they know who I am then I’ll say, “What’s up,” and just kind of keep it going. It’s something that I’d like to continue during the winter. Me and my parents are trying to figure out something to do when it’s hotter outside.

It means a lot to me. It means that someone like myself is kind of looking out for people. I know if I was in that position I wouldn’t want people looking down upon me or looking at me because of maybe a couple decisions I made that were wrong in life. I like to keep a positive outlook on it.