Written by Mike Wells
The Pacers will step on the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as a team officially a week from today when they take part in the NBAís annual media day. Teams playing exhibition games overseas will have their media day later this week.
The Pacers have been on the court unofficially for a couple of weeks now.
Just as Danny Granger mentioned during his camp last month, players have started trickling in for workouts.
Paul George, according to people Iíve talked to, has come in with a different mindset.
Scrimmages early on are usually pretty sloppy, but George set the tempo for things on his first day out there.
He got after it defensively, which forced everybody else out to increase their intensity.
ďHe came in there with the attitude that heís the best defender out there and he was going to show everybody,Ē one person said.
George and newcomer Gerald Green have had some competitive battles going back and forth at each other during the scrimmages.
Going head-to-head against players like LeBron, Durant and Kobe on a daily basis as part of the Team USA select squad over the summer has helped George, who is entering his third year. He was able to pick LeBronís brain while they were in the Far East on a Nike trip.
George worked out with different individual trainers on different aspects of his game during the summer. So helpfully PG has knocked the cuteness (Frank Vogelís description of it at times last season) out of his game.
Everybody usually looks good early on (remember Jamaal Tinsley?), now itís a matter of George carrying that mindset over to the regular season because he had a disappointing second round playoff series against Miami last season. I lost count how many times Dwyane Wade blocked his shot in the series.
George probably cringed every time he watched his performance in that series while breaking down the film of his game at his agentís office in Los Angeles over the summer.
Media day is Oct. 1 and the Pacers will start two-a-day practices the following day.