Oladipo Feeling and Looking Good in Camp

December 8, 2020: Victor Oladipo and Nate Bjorkgren discuss how Oladipo's training camp is going. Oladipo also shares his goals for the season.

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Oladipo Feeling and Looking Good in Camp

December 8, 2020: Victor Oladipo and Nate Bjorkgren discuss how Oladipo's training camp is going. Oladipo also shares his goals for the season.
Dec 8, 2020  |  01:38

Martin Discusses Returning to Indy

December 7, 2020: Former Butler University star Kelan Martin discusses signing with the Pacers and coming back to the city where he played college basketball.
Dec 7, 2020  |  01:27

Bjorkgren on Positivity, Lineups

December 6, 2020: Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren talks about his positive attitude and the lineups he's trying out in training camp.
Dec 6, 2020  |  01:13

Pacers Having an Upbeat Training Camp

December 5, 2020: Doug McDermott, T.J. McConnell and head coach Nate Bjorkgren discuss the atmosphere during this season's training camp.
Dec 5, 2020  |  01:57

Brogdon on Continuity & Coach Bjorkgren

December 3, 2020: Malcolm Brogdon discusses the importance of the Pacers' continuity heading into the season and his excitement to play for Nate Bjorkgren.
Dec 3, 2020  |  01:52

Turner is Excited for New Style of Play

December 3, 2020: Myles Turner talks about his offseason training regimen, team defense and his excitement to play in a new offense.
Dec 3, 2020  |  02:08

Jeremy Lamb on Rehab, Changes to Diet

Dec. 4, 2020 - Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb gives an update on his rehab and shares details about changes he has made to his diet in recent months.
Dec 4, 2020  |  01:57

Oladipo Showing "A Lot of Bounce" as Pacers Add in Offense

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

It's been over two years since Victor Oladipo was able to participate in a full training camp. Last fall, the two-time All-Star was limited to shooting drills and walk throughs as he rehabbed a torn quad tendon.

But after returning to play in 19 regular season and four playoff games last season, Oladipo enters the 2020-21 campaign with a clean bill of health.

When he spoke to the media last week, the Pacers were only allowed to conduct individual workouts due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols. They held their first practice on Friday and Oladipo met with reporters via Zoom again on Tuesday following Indiana's fifth practice session at the Ascension St. Vincent Center.

"I'm feeling pretty good," the 6-4 guard said. "Obviously there's some soreness and the fatigue a little bit just from finally getting back moving around and stuff like that. But for the most part I've been feeling really good. I'm just glad to be able to be out here and compete in training camp."

New Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren has been pushing the team early in training camp with competitive practices. He has changed up teams in scrimmages and put a premium on defense over the first few days.

So far, Oladipo has been up to the challenge.

"He looks great," Bjorkgren said. "Energy's good, he's got a lot of bounce to him. Everything that I've asked of him, he's doing and he's trying to do it at a very high level."

When he returned to the court last season, Oladipo did not play on both nights of back-to-back sets. He said on Tuesday that it was too early to know if the same will hold true this season. The Pacers have eight back-to-back sets scheduled over 38 games in the first half of the schedule, which was released on Friday.

"I can't really answer that question just yet," Oladipo said. "I think it just depends on how I'm feeling, really, after the first game of the back-to-back…I think it's just a day-to-day thing."

While Bjorkgren has focused primarily on defense early in camp, saying his first team practice spent "95 percent" of its energy on that end, he has slowly started to add in his offensive system over the past few days and said Tuesday's practice was more of a "50/50" split between the two sides of the ball.

Indiana did a number of shooting drills on Tuesday, according to Bjorkgren. The new coach's analytics-driven offense will put added emphasis on increasing the Pacers' 3-point shots. Indiana ranked last in the NBA in 3-point attempts during the 2019-20 season.

"I think it's going to be a lot more movement," Oladipo said of Bjorkgren's sets. "Everybody will be involved to some capacity. There's a lot of options offensively, a lot of different reads, a lot of counters and things like that.

"I think the offense is going to fit us very well."

Bjorkgren said his offensive sets will draw from a number of different places. In many ways, the Pacers will have similarities to Nick Nurse's offenses in Toronto, where Bjorkgren served as an assistant the past two seasons, but the Pacers coach also plans to draw on his experience in previous stops, including four seasons as a G League head coach.

Though Bjorkgren is a first-year coach, expectations are high for the Pacers, who return their top 13 players from last season. Indiana has reached the playoffs for five straight seasons but failed to advance past the first round. Oladipo said on Tuesday that the team has much grander ambitions this season.

"You play the game to win championships and that's what we're doing here," Oladipo said. "Building a championship-level team, a championship-level atmosphere so that we can get to the championship. That's the goal."

Aaron Holiday Sees Good Fit in Bjorkgren's System

Aaron Holiday, the Pacers' 2018 first-round pick, made major strides in his sophomore season last year. He may be well positioned to make another significant leap in 2021.

The 6-1 guard developed into a key member of Indiana's rotation last season, whether that was playing with the second unit or filling in in the starting lineup when another guard was out.

Holiday appeared in 66 regular season games, starting exactly half of them, and his averages improved from 5.9 points per game to 9.5 and from 1.7 assists per game to 3.4. He also became a real weapon from 3-point range, converting just under 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Holiday, like fellow backup guard T.J. McConnell, loves to push the tempo and run, something he expects to do more of with Bjorkgren at the helm.

"I don't think we've really talked about a role yet," Holiday said of his conversations with the new coach. "But he expects for me just to come out and play hard, get up and down. We're going to play at a faster pace this year so that should help me out a lot. Just making plays for my teammates, getting to the basket, driving and kicking, pressuring up on defense."

It was a low-key offseason for the youngest Holiday brother, who went back home to the Los Angeles area to work on his game. It was a bit more stressful for older brother Justin, who was a free agent.

Justin ultimately re-signed with Indiana on a three-year deal. Aaron said he made it clear last season to his older brother that he would love to run it back together with the Pacers, but "stayed out of it" when the offseason hit.

In the end, Justin came to terms with the Blue & Gold, extending Holiday season in Indianapolis.

"He finally got a spot where he can call home for (the next) three years," Aaron Holiday said. "That's obviously great and I'm very excited for him. I'm excited that we get to play together for at least next year and the year after (through the end of Aaron's rookie contract)."

Aaron and Justin will also get to see their brother Jrue a little more frequently this season. The middle Holiday brother was traded from New Orleans to the Pacers' Central Division rival Milwaukee last month.

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