Pacers Set to Hit Road for First Time

Dec. 11, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren and forward Domantas Sabonis discuss the team's preseason opener on Saturday in Cleveland.

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Pacers Set to Hit Road for First Time

Dec. 11, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren and forward Domantas Sabonis discuss the team's preseason opener on Saturday in Cleveland.
Dec 11, 2020  |  01:59

Defense the Focus as Preseason Games Approach

Dec. 10, 2020 - Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and head coach Nate Bjorkgren share the team's goals entering their first preseason game on Saturday and discuss the emphasis on defense so far in training camp.
Dec 10, 2020  |  02:19

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

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

Bitadze on Lessons from Rookie Year and Playing Pain Free

Dec. 10, 2020 - Pacers center Goga Bitadze reflects on his rookie season, shares how knee soreness impacted him last season, and looks forward to opening the preseason.
Dec 10, 2020  |  01:50

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

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

Sabonis, Bjorkgren Eager to See What Comes Out of First Preseason Game

by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Every year each team in the NBA has several hurdles to leap over to have what they consider to be a successful season. The Pacers are no different.

Sure, the squad is a solid, tight-knit group. The Blue & Gold have lost a fraction of their team compared to what some others have traded. However, Indiana must deal with a coaching change, a new playing style, and a limited amount of time to implement it.

Tomorrow's preseason game against the Cleveland Cavaliers should be considered as a preliminary litmus test, a minor glimpse into the way All-Stars like Domantas Sabonis have latched onto head coach Nate Bjorkgren's vibe. A preseason road win would bring extra cheer in this tumultuous time frame. But for Sabonis and Bjorkgren, they're simply looking for some semblance of progress and chemistry when they suit up in their respective roles tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, there's going to be a lot of new things thrown at us," Sabonis said to media members on Friday. "We're just going to have to come out there and play tough and compete. At the end of the day, that's the most important thing."

Later, Sabonis added insight into the differences that fans can expect when watching this year's games compared to the last season.

"I think we're just going to play fast," he began. "We're going to play very fast."

Pacers fans who have experienced Nate McMillan's half-court, inside-outside style of play could be in for a bit of a treat on Saturday.

For his takeaways out for the preseason opener, Sabonis stated that while a win would be nice, he wants "everybody to come out COVID free." He also hopes to see inklings of Coach Bjorkgren's style of play emerge from this game.

"(I want) basically just everything the coach has been putting in these last few weeks," he said. "Just try and execute them as much as possible — all the new terms on defense, offense, everything. Obviously, winning is always number one. But, just get as much use out of these two games as we can to get better and get ready for the season."

Within seconds of Bjorkgren speaking, it was evident his personal takeaways echoed what he's been preaching to the team since day one — defense, defense, and personal safety.

"(It's) just knowing that our team is going to accomplish the things on defense that we've been working on in these practices that we've had," he began. "We continue to tell our team to be as safe as you can. There are going to be rules at the hotel. There are going to be rules before and after shootaround. And those are things that our team needs to go through, and it's something that they're prepared for."

But while he expressed his stone-cold confidence in the team to achieve their goals, he admitted he still has a few butterflies he will need to shake out before tomorrow's end.

"I always have that feeling, whether I'm an assistant coach or a head coach," he said. "I think that's why I love coaching so much. You do — you get the butterflies. You get a little nervous before the games. And it just gets your blood flowing."

Despite the outcome of tomorrow's preseason bout, it's obvious that the players are hungry to play and accepting of Bjorkgren's new-age style of basketball. Fans are anxiously awaiting to see it in full swing.

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