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Friday, May 29, 2020

Articles tagged: Indiana Pacers

Paul George rips Pacers for lack of ‘pride’

The Indiana Pacers have reached a point in the season where they can’t afford to lose to lesser competition, so coming up short against the 29-44 Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night was not ideal. For Paul George, it was downright infuriating.

Despite leading by as many as nine points midway through the fourth quarter, the Pacers collapsed and ended up losing to Minnesota, 115-114. George did not hold back after the game.

“Pissed,” George said of how the loss made him feel, according to Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star. “I know I was pissed. It’s the only to really sum it up.”

In just one night, the Pacers fell from fifth in the Eastern Conference to seventh. With one more loss, they would fall below .500 for the first time since Jan. 1. The No. 8-seed Miami Heat currently hold the tie-breaker over the Pacers for playoff position, so a berth in the postseason is hardly a guarantee with just eight games remaining.

“We should have a professional approach, man, and defend our home court, especially to a team that’s not even in the playoffs,” George added. “That’s what it comes down to. As a team, we’ve got to have a grit and we’ve got to own up, man up.

“There’s no urgency, no sense of urgency, no winning pride. This locker room is just not pissed off enough.”

Playing on the road has been a major issue for the Pacers this season. They’re just 11-25 in games away from Bankers Life Field House, so you can understand why a home loss to the T-Wolves this late in the season is such a problem. George alluded to that.

“It’s tough losing a game here that we need knowing that we don’t play well on the road,” he said. “When we lose focus here, I’m not sure where our head is going to be as a team tomorrow. I’ll make sure to gather these guys around and let them understand, man, that we’ve got to win. That’s the only thing that’s important. The only thing that should be motivational is winning.”

George led the team with 37 points, but he can’t win games by himself. If Indiana ends up missing the playoffs because of a late-season meltdown, there’s no guarantee George will want to remain with the team this summer. We have already heard rumblings that he is determined to play for a certain team, and PG13 could try to force his way there sooner rather than later if he gets frustrated enough.

Report: Pacers halt trade talks, will keep Paul George

Paul George will not be on the move after all.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, the Pacers have turned down all trade offers for George and will keep him going forward for at least the remainder of the season.

George had been a surprisingly prominent name on the market throughout the day on Thursday, with the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Lakers linked to certain degrees. A deal always seemed like a long-shot, though. George is a free agent after next season, and unless the Pacers were getting a huge haul for him, it makes more sense for them to try to build around him and hope they can convince him to a sign a long-term deal in the offseason.

Report: Pacers, Celtics discussing Paul George trade

The Indiana Pacers have been gauging the trade market for Paul George, and it seems like the team with the most interest is the Boston Celtics.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Celtics have been reluctant to include the first-round pick they have from the Brooklyn Nets in trade talks, but Boston GM Danny Ainge could be warming up to the idea.

Any trade the Celtics make for a superstar would almost certainly have to include Brooklyn’s pick. The Nets currently have the worst record in the NBA, which means their pick — which Boston has — would have the best chance of becoming the top overall selection in the draft if the season ended today.

The risk in trading for George is that he supposedly wants to either try to win in Indiana or return home to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers when he hits the free agent market in two years. Despite what this executive may think, there is a lot standing in the way between George and Boston.

Report: Pacers gauging trade market for Paul George

The Indiana Pacers may be open to trading Paul George, after all.

Adrian Wojnarowski of the The Vertical reports that the Pacers have been “gauging the trade market” for George ahead of Thursday’s deadline. However, that does not necessarily mean Indiana is sold on unloading its biggest star. Wojnarowski also notes that the team has looked into the possibility of adding pieces that would help convince George to sign an extension.

The Pacers are working the trade deadline on parallel fronts: Pursuing deals that will bring talent into Indiana to sell George on signing a long-term extension – and soliciting deal offers on George that would signal a rebuild around center Myles Turner, league sources told The Vertical.

Ultimately, the Pacers will have to evaluate the two paths and make a decision before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. There’s no urgency to make a deal for George, unless the Pacers fear the Boston Celtics could ultimately provide Indiana the best possible package of assets in a deal – and think that option could disappear if Boston makes a deal with Chicago for Jimmy Butler.

George is under contract through next season, and the last thing the Pacers want is for him to walk away and leave them with nothing to show for it. One NBA executive reportedly believes George will end up with another Eastern Conference contender this week, though a trade of that magnitude is always more likely to fall through than be completed.

Simply put, the Pacers are keeping their options open. That’s always a wise thing to do when the market is sizzling.

Report: Pacers willing to trade first-round pick to get help for Paul George

The Indiana Pacers are reportedly willing to pay a significant price to get Paul George some help in the hopes of being an Eastern Conference contender for years to come.

According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Pacers are dangling their first-round draft pick in an attempt to acquire an established wing or frontline player.

The team has lost six in a row, and sit just two games ahead of the final playoff spot. With the knowledge that George can opt out of his contract after next season, the Pacers want to make aggressive improvements in the hopes of convincing him to sign an extension this summer.

George has spoken about winning a title in Indiana, and the Pacers want to give him incentive to stay and believe he can accomplish it.

“I wanted to be the first and want to be the first to be able to bring a championship to Indiana,” George told ESPN Radio on Friday. “So that’s still on my mind … and something I definitely want to achieve in Indiana.”

George has admitted that a large part of this season has been rather trying for him. Losing a disgruntled George to free agency would be crippling for a franchise that has invested so much in building around him, and they’re going to do everything they can to keep him happy.

Paul George thinks referees are against Pacers

Paul George crying

The Indiana Pacers vented after Monday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls about the team’s lack of respect from the referees.

The Pacers lost 90-85 to the Bulls despite shooting better from the field by nearly four percent. However, there was a huge free throw disparity between the clubs, as the Bulls attempted 28 free throws and the Pacers just 10.

Both Pacers star Paul George and head coach Nate McMillan made note of that in their postgame comments

George had an off night going 6-for-14 with 14 points, but he only attempted one free throw. That’s much less than the 4.5 free throws he averages per game.

George, who was drafted by the Pacers in 2010 and is in his seventh season with the team, believes there is a bias from the officials against Indiana.

George may feel like he and the Pacers don’t get enough calls, but they’re actually in a three-way tie with the Rockets and Jazz for 17th in the league in free throws averaged per game. That’s very close to the mean, which somewhat defeats George’s argument. But the man does have a case about Monday night, where the Bulls got nearly three times as many attempts from the charity stripe.

George Hill: Pacers’ handling of Frank Vogel ‘unfair’

Frank Vogel

Frank Vogel made the playoffs in five of his six seasons as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, and many believed the team made a mistake by firing him. George Hill, who played for Vogel for five seasons, is among those people.

On Monday, Vogel will return to Indiana for the first time since he was let go when his Orlando Magic take on the Pacers. Hill, now with the Utah Jazz, expects his former coach to have mixed emotions.

“For him at the moment, his heart is probably burning,” Hill said, per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “Just the way that the organization treated him towards his exit was very unfair. I think the guy did a phenomenal job. I think he deserved a little bit more respect than what he got. But that’s how they handled it. Vogel took it like a man and moved on. I’m just happy that he had another opportunity to come in and change another program around.”

The Pacers and Magic are both 4-6, so it’s far too early to tell if the right decision was made. Vogel expects the return to be an “emotional” one.

“I’m sure it’ll be emotional,” he said. “[I have] a lot of strong ties there still, a lot of great memories. It’s endless. [I spent] nine years there. My daughters were basically raised there. I became a head coach in the NBA there. Some of my best basketball moments of my life were coaching the Pacers.”

The Pacers obviously believed Vogel could not get them over the hump after the team finished 45-37 last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Time will tell if Nate McMillan can do a better job.