Harrison enthused about his recovery
Center feels comfortable in summer league play months after arthroscopic knee surgery.
By Mike Wells
MINNEAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers center David Harrison caught the ball in the post, looked over his shoulder to see how the defender was playing him, then made a quick move to the center of the lane for a jump shot.
On the next possession, Harrison, in the post again, turned toward the baseline and knocked down a 14-foot jumper.
To some, those two moves aren't anything to get excited about. But to Harrison, it's a sign of progress from a knee injury that cut his rookie season short.
"I'm feeling good," he said after the Pacers' 82-54 summer league victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday. "The thing now is, I actually have two good legs I can use."
Harrison, who played 43 games last season, injured his left knee in late February. He underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery in early April.
Harrison was only recently cleared for full contact, but he still spent time in the weight room working out. Harrison said he hasn't dropped much weight, but rather he has toned up.
"It helps so much that my knee feels good and I'm able to lift without any problems," Harrison said.
Harrison has shown the ability to get off the ground quickly on both ends of the court. He received a technical foul in Friday's game against Houston for hanging on the rim after a two-handed dunk. Harrison has gone 8-of-9 from the field and blocked five shots through the first two games.
"David is one of these guys that's physically gifted," Pacers assistant coach Chuck Person said. "He brings a lot to the game with the ability to grind teams out and force double teams."
Pacers assistant coach Dan Burke said Harrison has to worry about staying out of foul trouble, especially on offense when trying to get position in the post.
"He can't get discouraged . . . when he picks up those fouls," Burke said. "I hope some of the guys realize how wide he can get in the post. He's strong, he gets wide and he gets low in the post."
Harrison said he's going to monitor his knee closely, as the Pacers are playing fives games in five days in the summer league. A healthy Harrison gives the Pacers added depth at center.
"I don't want anything to happen that sets me back," he said.
Artest struggles from field
A day after going 8-of-15 from the field, Pacers forward Ron Artest shot just 5-of-16 against the Raptors.
"It felt good, especially when I tried to make the shot," said Artest, who played his second game since returning from a suspension for his role in the Nov. 19 brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills. He missed the final 73 regular-season games and the playoffs. "A couple of times, I took some lazy shots. For the most part, they were on line, with the exception of maybe one."
Artest, who finished with 16 points, had six rebounds and five assists. He turned the ball over five times for the second straight game.
"There's more to it than shooting the basketball," Person said. "He played with force and he shared the ball with his teammates. That's something we're going to have to stress all year long. It's all about the team and it's not about the individual."
A girl who wipes up wet spots off the floor during games injured her collarbone when Pacers forward Shelly Clark fell on her while diving to get a loose ball Saturday.
Team president Larry Bird, rookie Danny Granger and Artest were among Pacers representatives who visited the girl in the training room after the game. The girl was not hospitalized.
Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053