Training Camp Notebook: Stuckey Gets The Green Light

Rodney Stuckey is entering his 10th NBA season, but he's never seen anything like this. Suddenly, as if he were just handed a winning lottery ticket, he's playing in an offense perfectly tailored to his skill set.

Which, basically, is attacking the basket as if it had just insulted his mother.

"He moves in straight lines, man," C.J. Miles said Friday. "Either get out of the way or I'm going to get through you."

Stuckey scored 20 points in 26 ½ minutes off the bench in the Pacers' victory over Chicago on Thursday, leading all scorers. He hit half of his 10 field goal attempts, drew enough fouls to attempt 10 free throws, hitting nine, and passed out a game-high seven assists.

He appears to be a primary beneficiary of coach Nate McMillan's offense, which provides a green light to drive to the basket if you're in the open court and in a one-on-one matchup. Stuckey is made for that, with his linebacker's physique and sprinter's speed.

"Just get out on the break and create and attack," Stuckey said. "He wants us all in attack mode. Anytime we see a defender one on one, attack him.

"This is the most freedom I've had in my 10 years in the league. It's a good thing to have."

Stuckey is the Pacers' leading scorer through the first two preseason games, averaging 15.5 points on 50 percent shooting, and is tied with Jeff Teague for the lead in assists, with 10. If he can approach his 3-point accuracy of two seasons ago, when he hit 39 percent of his attempts, he could be primed for his most efficient season.

It's early, but the match between system and player is intriguing.

"Obviously, he's exceptionally fast and he passes the ball well, too," Miles said. "He doesn't get as much credit for that because he's getting to the line and getting to the basket. The tempo is made for him. It allows him to use all of his strengths."

Turner likely to play

The Pacers should get their first in-game look at a key member of their presumptive starting five on Saturday, when Myles Turner makes his preseason debut.

Turner, who suffered a concussion after taking an elbow to his head in a scrimmage before training camp began, has practiced with the team all week. He'll likely be on some sort of minutes restriction in Chicago.

"I feel fine, it's just a matter of getting the basketball rhythm back," he said following Friday's practice. "My legs feel fine and I'm fresh."

The Pacers have averaged 114 points in their two exhibition games without Turner, and only figure to become more dangerous with him. He'll bring more speed and scoring punch to the center position, including another 3-point threat. McMillan will allow him to take them when open, drawing opposing centers far from the baskets and creating more driving lanes for his teammates.

"We have a fast group," Turner said. "That first group is going to be real fast and we can get out of the gates quick. I'm a big who likes to run as well, so I know we're going to push the pace even more than we're doing now."

Brooks in, George and Miles out

Free agent signee Aaron Brooks is expected to make his Pacers preseason debut on Saturday, after missing the first two games with a sore hip.

Brooks played the last two seasons with Chicago, and is expected to be the Pacers' backup point guard this season.

Paul George (rest) will not play in Saturday's game.

Miles, who sat out Thursday's game with a sore left knee, does not expect to play on Saturday. He said he could play if it were a regular season game, but is being held out as a precautionary measure.

Jeremy Evans also could make his debut, having recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.

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