Brogdon Recovered, Back at Practice

July 16, 2020 - Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and head coach Nate McMillan discuss Brogdon's recovery from COVID-19, why he is wearing a mask at practice, and life in the NBA bubble.

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Brogdon Recovered, Back at Practice

July 16, 2020 - Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and head coach Nate McMillan discuss Brogdon's recovery from COVID-19, why he is wearing a mask at practice, and life in the NBA bubble.
Jul 16, 2020  |  02:06

McMillan, Brogdon on Team Discussions on Social Injustice

July 16, 2020 - Nate McMillan discusses a team screening of the documentary "13th" and Malcolm Brogdon reflects on discussion among the players about social injustice.
Jul 16, 2020  |  02:11

Oladipo: There's a Strong Possibility I Might Play

July 15, 2020 - Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo explains why he is reconsidering his decision to sit out the 2019-20 NBA season restart after participating in practices with the team in Orlando.
Jul 15, 2020  |  02:14

Myles Turner Feeling Comfortable Back on Court

July 13, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discusses Myles Turner's growth during the 2019-20 season and four-month hiatus and then Turner shares his thoughts on being back on the practice court in Orlando.
Jul 13, 2020  |  01:58

McMillan, Sabonis on Pacers' Conditioning

July 12, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and forward Domantas Sabonis discuss the Pacers' fitness level after holding their first two practices in fourth months.
Jul 12, 2020  |  02:36

Pacers Come Out of Quarantine for First Practice

July 11, 2020 - After a 48-hour quarantine after arriving at the NBA restart bubble in Orlando, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and players T.J. Warren and T.J. McConnell spoke with the media following the team's first practice in four months.
Jul 11, 2020  |  02:26

Brogdon Masked But Unleashed

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer
@MarkMontieth

As the only Pacers player to have tested positive for COVID-19, Malcolm Brogdon fully appreciates the desire to keep everyone safe inside the NBA's bubble in Orlando. He's taken action as well.

Brogdon, who missed the Pacers' first two practices after coming off a two-week quarantine, has been wearing a mask since rejoining the team in its workouts. He considers it a method of improving his conditioning and showing respect for teammates who might be leery of sharing his air space despite the fact he tested negative for the virus before departing Indianapolis.

"Just be cautious and make guys feel comfortable," he said Thursday evening in a video conference call with media members.

Brogdon said he will continue to wear the mask until the Pacers began playing games. Their first exhibition will be on July 23 against Portland, followed by games against Dallas on the 26th and San Antonio on the 28th.

Brogdon said he had a fever and headache after contracting the virus but feels no effects from it now. He also has recovered from the torn quadriceps muscle that kept him out of the Pacers' final three games before the season was shut down in March.

"I feel really good," he said. "My conditioning is not where I want it to be, but it's actually better than I thought. I'll definitely be in shape by the time the games start."

Pacers coach Nate McMillan praised Brogdon's performance thus far in the workouts, but so far he has been running him mostly with the "Gold" team, the third unit. He plans to put him back on the "Blue" team with the other starters soon.

Putting the intended starting lineup together will become a higher priority as the Pacers work toward the resumption of their regular season on Aug. 1. They played only five games with Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, T.J. Warren, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis opening the game before the lockdown. The most recent of those was at Cleveland on Feb. 29, and they hope it was an indication of the unit's potential. The starters scored 99 of the team's 113 points and combined to hit 60 percent of their field goal attempts. It was a balanced effort as well, with each one scoring between 18 and 30 points.

Oladipo's status for the upcoming games remains uncertain, but he has been practicing with the team and has stated he hopes to play.

"Chemistry is everything in this league," Brogdon said. "Everybody has talent, but it's the teams that play really well together that win games. It's going to be important for us to get these reps on the court in practices and scrimmages and then we'll have to figure it out when the games start.

"We have guys who are low ego, low maintenance, who want to win collectively, and that's our advantage."

McMillan and Brogdon both offered hearty praise for the play of Turner in the workouts so far. Turner appeared to be adapting better to the changes in his role required by the addition of Sabonis to the starting lineup when the season was suspended and has continued to progress in Orlando.

"I know it's just practice, but I really like what I see from Myles," McMillan said. "I see a maturity from him, a guy who's confident with what he's doing out there. He's been showing growth.

"It really started I would say about December; he started to get a feel for playing the four on offense and the five on defense. He's figured out where his offense is going to come from and how he can help the team. He's been really good. I really like what I'm seeing in this restart from Myles."

Added Brogdon: "He looks as good as he's ever looked since I've been here. Shooting the ball extremely well, playing with confidence. When he goes out there and decides what he's going to do, no one actually stops him. He's talented, he's versatile...he's looked very, very good."

Brogdon added that T.J. Warren, the Pacers' leading scorer (18.7 points per game) has shot well in practice, and expressed surprise for the team's general play.

"Overall, our team has really surprised me," he said. "It's actually shocked me how well in shape everybody has come back. Getting up and down, five on five, has looked very good. It's not as sloppy as some teams might look."


Brogdon said his comfort level with the restrictions the NBA has placed on the players and other team personnel in Orlando has exceeded his expectations. A few NBA players have offered complaints about the food and other aspects of the bubble, but Brogdon countered those claims.

"There are people working extremely hard to make this as comfortable for the NBA players as possible, so it's not my job to complain," he said. "The food has been good. The food has been enough. We've just got to be grateful. There are a lot of people outside of this bubble who are struggling, and we have to keep that in mind.

"I don't want people outside of the bubble to get the interpretation that all of us feel our experience and the food is inadequate. It's not."


The Pacers gathered on Wednesday evening to watch "13th," a 2016 documentary that explored racial inequality in the prison system. McMillan said it was the first time the team has been able to come together to discuss issues, rather than in a Zoom meeting.

"We had a lot of guys who were feeling some kind of way about everything that's been happening," he said. "Guys had a chance to express themselves and talk about some of the things the organization is going to do to try to create this change we feel is necessary in this country."

Brogdon, one of the NBA's more outspoken players regarding social injustice over the past few months, wants the conversations to continue.

"Breonna Taylor was killed in her bed in her apartment by cops who are still running free," he said. "There are people who still haven't been brought to justice and need to be brought to justice. I'm going to continue to push that point and send that message every time I'm in an interview. Every time I get an opportunity, people are going to hear about this. (I want people to) reflect on what's actually going on outside of basketball."


Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Mark Montieth's book on the formation and groundbreaking seasons of the Pacers, "Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indianapolis," is available in bookstores throughout Indiana and on Amazon.com.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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