Pacers shift practice to the Fieldhouse ahead of regular season opener
The Pacers open the regular season this week at home against Brooklyn, and in preparation, the team moved practice into Bankers Life Fieldhouse instead of inside the recently opened St. Vincent Center practice facility. Practicing at the Fieldhouse as opposed to in the practice facility will help the players get more comfortable with the intricacies of their home court.
“With the different lighting, we wanted to get our guys shots over here, so we practiced here today and we’ll practice here tomorrow and we’ll have a shoot-around before Wednesday’s game,” McMillan said.
The Pacers played just one preseason game at the Fieldhouse following three road games.
“We’ve got a beautiful practice facility and been over there pretty much all summer and all training camp so we need to get over here in familiar territory,” center Myles Turner explained. “Lighting is a little different this year, so it’s just getting used to everything.”
This new –look Pacers team has just five players who were on last season’s opening night roster back to start the 2017-2018 season.
“We only have a couple of guys that were here last year,” McMillan said. “I think it’s always good to shoot in your building as much as possible.”
“Feels good to be back in this arena, ready to get a good feel for everything,” Turner said, who has become the face of the franchise in the wake of Paul George’s departure for Oklahoma City.
“Felt good to play in front of the fans yesterday, now ready to do it the real way,” Turner said, referring to the “Fan Jam” event the team hosted on Sunday to help familiarize the blue and gold fan base with the numerous new faces in the rotation.
Lance Stephenson is one of the most recognizable faces on the roster after playing in Indy from 2010 to 2014. He returned to the franchise for a second stint late last season, and the Brooklyn native is excited to open up a new season against his hometown team.
“We’re playing Brooklyn and everybody back home already texting me, ‘man, you better be ready because Brooklyn’s coming after you,’ and I’m like, okay I’m ready, I’m born ready.”
Tip-off against the Nets is set for 7pm Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They Pacers will also host the Heat this week (Friday at 7pm) before a three-game road trip which concludes with a stop in Oklahoma City to face George and the Thunder.