INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The new-look Pacers opened training camp at their brand new downtown facility, the St. Vincent Center, with a rotation of fresh faces to the franchise.
With the departure of Paul George, third-year center Myles Turner inherits the leadership role with nine new players joining the roster in the off-season. And Turner’s mission for the team through training camp and pre-season play is clear.
“Just creating chemistry,” Turner said following the team’s first practice. “There’s nine new faces on this roster, so we gotta establish that chemistry as soon as possible.”
One of those new additions is Indiana University product Victor Oladipo, who was impressed with the speed of his team in the first day of work.
“Pretty fast, one through five,” Oladipo said. “Myles be moving up and down the floor pretty well, too, for a big fella, so it’s going to be fun, fun to watch and fun to play with guys.”
Rookie T.J. Leaf, the Pacers top draft pick in 2017, says it’s not only a new look for the franchise, but there’s also a revitalized energy in the group coming off summer league play and into training camp.
“Everyone wants to be here,” Leaf said. “We all like competing a lot, we all want to compete and we all want to win and we all want to be here, so there’s a lot of excitement around that. We think we’re a team that can surprise some people. We think we have some talent, and that’s exciting as well, and we’re ready to put all that together.”
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan indicated that the work is only beginning for his squad with their first pre-season game on October 4. That means the team will be doubling up on workouts for much of training camp to get up to full speed.
“It was day one,” McMillan said. “I thought the guys came in and tried to work hard. We got in a good two hours and tonight we’ll come back and run our conditioning tests and push a little harder.”