Caught in the Web Indiana Pacers blog: West gives fans glimpse of future
West shows fans a glimpse of what lies ahead
Indianapolis (Dec. 18, 2011) -- Within a festive atmosphere, the Pacers did some serious work, taking advantage of the dwindling opportunities for even a simulation of live game action.
As the highlight of the Pacers 2011 FanJam presented by CNO Financial Group, the franchise's annual free event that attracted more than, 5,000 fans to Conseco Fieldhouse, the Pacers conducted to 12-minute scrimmages with officials under game conditions Sunday afternoon.
The event marked the unofficial debut of power forward David West, who made his first public on-court appearance since signing with the Pacers last Tuesday. West played well, scoring 13 points.
"Every time we get him on the court it takes him a step further in getting acclimated and he looked good again tonight," Coach Frank Vogel said. "He looks great. He's still working his way in with his conditioning over long minutes and he's picking up the nuances of our system. It's still going to take time."
Vogel said he had not decided if West would play in the final preseason game Tuesday night in Chicago, calling it a "game-day decision."
With West regaining his game legs, Jeff Pendergraph out with a strained knee and veteran Jeff Foster's minutes limited, the Pacers are relatively thin in the frontcourt.
"Right now it's not a concern," Vogel said. "It's still the preseason, the D-League guys are giving us good minutes. As we get closer to the season we'll re-evaluate it then."
George Hill, Roy Hibbert and Dahntay Jones each scored 15 in the scrimmage. Tyler Hansbrough scored nine. Of the D-Leaguers in camp, Tyren Johnson had a couple of highlight plays, a block of Roy Hibbert leading to a nice fast-break dunk as well as the only 3-pointer of the evening. Darnell Lazare scored seven points.
"The NBA said we had to do a live scrimmage in front of the fans," Vogel said. "We would've scrimmaged anyway if it wasn't in front of the fans just to get that game action, particularly for David."
Reports: Amundson acquired for Rush
The frontcourt depth issue could be addressed if a reported trade bringing power forward Louis Amundson from Golden State in exchange for Brandon Rush prove correct.
The Contra Costa Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Indianapolis Star all reported the trade.
Rush's agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed the deal.
"I appreciate Larry (Bird) and David Morway doing the trade," Bartelstein told The Star, "so Brandon has an opportunity to play elsewhere."
On his Twitter account, Rush had a post at approximately 11:30 a.m. that said, "Fresh Start!"
He followed up three hours later with the following post: "Had time to say my farewells to my teammates n coaches. Gonna miss that locker room."
After three more hours game another post: "I would like to thank the Simon family, Larry Bird, David Morway and the Pacers organization for 3 great years."
The 6-9, 225-pound Amundson is entering his fifth NBA season and the Pacers would be his fourth team. He has career averages of 13 minutes, four points and 3.6 rebounds in 182 games, posting his career high of 14 rebounds against the Pacers while with Phoenix in 2009.
Rush averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in three seasons with the Pacers, leading the team in 3-point percentage the past two seasons including a career-high .417 in 2010-11. His career mark of .402 ranks fourth in franchise history.
Pacers officials had no comment on the reports.
"Still rumors and speculation," Vogel said, "and we don't comment on rumors."