Pacers Look to Regroup, Execute
by Mark Montieth
October 11, 2012
Excuses were available for the Pacers' 84-70 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. It was the first preseason game, after all, three starters sat out, and it was played in Fargo, N.D. of all places.
Those pardons, however, weren't acceptable in the final analysis of coach Frank Vogel, who expects a better performance in Friday's rematch with the Timberwolves at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
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"We didn't execute appropriately at the offensive end," Vogel said following Thursday's practice at the Fieldhouse. "Our defense was OK, but we were careless with the basketball and our passing. We just didn't make adjustments."
Vogel gave credit to Minnesota's defense, particularly that of new acquisition Andre Kirilenko (who he considers a defensive role model for Paul George) but still considered the fact his team finished with 14 assists and 24 turnovers to be a matter of self-destruction.
"It was a lot of poor execution," Vogel said.
Danny Granger, George Hill and David West sat out the game. West sat to allow more playing time for Tyler Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph. Hill had a sore thumb that was injured in practice, and Granger continues to nurse a sore left knee. Vogel said West will play on Friday, Granger will not and Hill is questionable.
Granger has sat out most of the "contact"portions of practice so far, although Vogel said he participated in 15 or 20 minutes of it on Thursday. Granger was sitting in a seat on the end of the floor with ice bags on both knees when the media was allowed in.
Vogel, who said Granger might play if the Pacers were in the regular season, acknowledged the obstacle created by the absence of the team's leading scorer from the past five seasons, but prefers to have him available for the longer run.
"I'd rather get him healthy and work on his timing and rhythm second to that," Vogel said.
The new scoreboard was on display for the media on Thursday, but will not be fully utilized for games until the regular season opener ... Minnesota will be without guard Ricky Rubio, who is recovering from surgery on his left knee. Rubio is not expected to return until December or January ... Former Pacer Lou Amundson played eight minutes for the Timberwolves on Wednesday, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds ... Along with Kirilenko, Minnesota added veteran guard Brandon Roy, who sat out last season with a knee injury. Roy finished with 13 points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal and one turnover in 24 minutes against the Pacers on Wednesday. The Pacers had interest in signing Roy over the summer.