After playing basketball games in both Manila and Taiwan, the Indiana Pacers returned back home on Sunday night. Along with being back in their familiar settings, the Pacers were also back in the familiar Eastern time zone. One that just happens to be twelve hours behind Taipei, where the Pacers lost 107-98 to the Houston Rockets earlier that Sunday afternoon.
With the time-change, some of the Pacers normal sleep-schedule seemed to have been thrown in a loop.
“My nights have been terrible,” said guard George Hill.
“I went to sleep at five the first night and four last night. I’ve been up watching infomercials and buying ninja-blenders and stuff. I actually bought one the other night, the infomercial sold me good on it. I got up, got my computer, and bought one. A big blender, on TV it looks so great. Hopefully when it comes in the mail, it’ll be great. That’s what I’ve been doing, so hopefully tonight I can get some good sleep.”
All impulse-purchases aside, the Indiana Pacers had nothing but positives to say about their exhibitions in the “Global Games”. The players and coaches found the whole experience to be great for team-bonding, thought exploring the cities to be fantastic, and were very surprised not just how many NBA fans are across Asia, but Pacers fans in general.
“I didn’t realize it was that big,” said forward Danny Granger.
“It was maybe half of that the last time that we went. But this time, it was really impressive. Fans were everywhere at all times wearing our jerseys, even when we were coming back they were chanting ‘Pacers’ in the stands. I thought I would only hear that at Bankers Life.”
Through all the positives that came with the trip, Indiana did return to the States missing. That of course was a victory, as the team dropped both of their games to the Rockets to start the preseason with an 0-3 record. To the team though, that isn’t something they are too worried about just yet. As Head Coach Frank Vogel noted, the Pacers would like to win all of their games, but with experiments in the line-up and the continuation of building team chemistry, there’s no panic-buttons to be hit anytime soon.
“We have to clean up a lot of things, but that is part for the course this time of year,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “We are building the habits of winning basketball, and we are having fun with it.”
The Pacers can get preseason win number-one tomorrow night when the Dallas Mavericks roll into town, but even if they don’t, the squad seems more focused on just improving as a team.
“It’s nothing to be concerned about,” said Granger.
“It’s still preseason, and the way we lost a few of those games, we didn’t like. But in all honesty in the second-game, we came back and were about to take the lead, but with the preseason lineups the game kind of switched. So it’s a time to feel out a lot of different players, feel out a lot of different lineups, and teach a lot of concepts.”