INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers continue draft prospect workouts this week, and Monday’s visit included one very familiar face for Hoosier fans: Trayce Jackson-Davis.
“Obviously being in your home town, you got a little bit of juice,” Jackson-Davis said.
Indiana’s all-time leader in rebounds and blocks was a part of a six-player predraft workout at the Ascension St. Vincent Pacers Training Facility. The downtown Indianapolis facility is just a short drive from where the former Center Grove High School standout grew up in Greenwood.
“Indiana’s been my home for so long, so just being back here, being able to be in your city, your hometown,” Jackson-Davis said. “It’s a blessing, honestly, just being close to home. You get to see your family and everything that comes with it. Honestly, just amazing to be here.”
This was a homecoming for multiple reasons. Jackson-Davis’ father Dale Davis was a first round draft pick by the Pacers, and then an NBA All-Star, helping the Blue and Gold in 2000 to their only NBA Finals appearance.
Jackson-Davis was nothing but smiles when talking about his family connection to this organization.
“Obviously, it’s changed a little bit, but at the end of the day, he knows that it’s good people,” Jackson-Davis said. “I was talking to one of the trainers today. He said he had him back in the day. There’s still a lot of people that are around but overall it’s a great organization.”
The Pacers are one of 15 workouts on the consensus All-American’s schedule. Mock drafts list him as a second round pick. He’s doing everything to bolster his draft stock in the meantime.
“I’ve been in Los Angeles working on my game, working on my three-point shot,” Jackson-Davis said. “It’s something that I showcase in these workouts. The hard work that I’m putting in is paying off. I’ve been able to shoot threes and hit them in live segments, and that’s something we’ll have to do at the next level.”
The whole predraft process has been exciting for Jackson-Davis, who missed out on the last three summers.
“Finally, just being able to experience this process, it’s a blessing to be in. I’m just happy to be here,” Jackson-Davis said. “At the end of the day, I’m just going to give it my all and see where it ends up.”
Jackson-Davis was to fly later Monday to Boston for a workout with the Celtics, then visit nine more teams before finding out his draft fate June 22.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pacers’ guard Tyrese Haliburton, who had a breakout season in 2022-2023, has been named honorary pace car driver for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
Haliburton will drive the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 hardtop convertible and lead the field of 33 drivers to the start of “the greatest spectacle of racing.”
“It’s a tremendous honor to be given the opportunity to drive the Pace Car and lead the field to start the Indy 500. Basketball and racing are big in Indiana, and it’s such a cool experience to represent the Pacers at the biggest race in the world.”Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers guard
During the 2022-2023 NBA season, Haliburton was named an NBA All-Star for the first time, and became the first player in NBA history to average 20 or more points, 10 or more assists, and shoot 40 percent or better from three-point range.
He became the first player to record 40+ assists and no turnovers over any three-game span in NBA history.
Haliburton was originally selected as the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings and traded to the Pacers during the 2021-2022 season. He has averaged 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 8.0 assists, and 1.6 steals over 191 games during three seasons with the Kings and Pacers.
Corvette has paced “the greatest spectacle in racing” more times than any car. The 2023 race marks the 34th time for Chevrolet to pace dating back to 1948 and the 20th time overall since 1978.
CHICAGO (AP) — Draft Lottery day has arrived, and the NBA is about to learn which team will win the chance to select Victor Wembanyama next month.
The lottery will be held Tuesday night in Chicago, where 14 teams will have a chance to win the No. 1 pick for the June 22 draft. Detroit, Houston and San Antonio all have the best chance of winning, at 14% apiece.
The Indiana Pacers have a 6.8% chance of taking the top pick, with the No. 8 pick being the most likely. Guard Tyrese Haliburton will represent the Pacers at the draft.
The lottery involves 14 ping-pong balls going into a machine, and the first four balls that come out will be matched to predetermined combinations assigned to each team.
Results will be aired on ESPN, though the lottery itself takes place about an hour before in a secure room. Each team will have a representative in the room, and league officials, lottery observers and some reporters will also be present — but none will be allowed to leave the room or communicate with anyone until the results are shown on television.
The lottery goes back to 1985. In the first five years, the lottery teams — seven in 1985 through 1988, nine in 1989 — all had an equal chance of winning.
Odds began being weighted in 1990. In those 33 years, the team with the best odds of winning prevailed only 11 times, or 33.3%. But the team holding (or tied for) the best odds entering the lottery won the No. 1 pick seven times in the last eight years.
Wembanyama is a 7-foot-3, 19-year-old phenom from France who is wrapping up his third professional season there and has been the consensus top pick for months. He has the height of a center, the shooting touch of a wing and the passing ability of a point guard.
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — One Indiana Pacers player got to take the ride of a lifetime Saturday.
Forward Aaron Nesmith spent the morning with Pato O’Ward and Arrow McLaren, learning all about IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
This was Nesmith’s first trip to the track. He was blown away by the layout and how many fans fit in the stands. IMS is expecting over 300,000 people on race day for the 107th running of the Indy 500 at the end of the month.
The highlight of the day for Nesmith was the ride around the road course in a two-seater IndyCar. O’Ward didn’t drive, but he did give him a little bit of advice before strapping into the seat.
“Just flow, bro,” O’Ward laughed. “I told him to just enjoy it. I told him at least he fits. It’s a great place to do it at. Long straightaways, heavy braking, he’ll get a good idea of what the Gs feel like. Hopefully he comes back for the 500. I told him he can’t miss that.”
Nesmith says he hates roller coasters, but going 180 miles-per-hour around the road course? He would definitely do that again.
“As soon as I got to the car, and they strapped me in, and they put me in real tight, it got real real quick,” Nesmith said. “As soon as we took off, my head lifted off, I felt like I was flying. Head was flying back and forth when we hit the turns. It was a lot of fun.”
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Noblesville and the Pacers announced plans Monday to build a 3,400-seat arena and bring the team’s NBA G League team to the Hamilton County city.
Noblesville Common Council on Tuesday will consider a 10-year partnership agreement between the city government and Pacers Sports & Entertainment. The agreement calls $36.5 million from the city in building the arena and a $5 million investment from the Pacers. The Pacers also will lead an effort to secure another $5 million in naming rights and signage over 10 years.
Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen told News 8, “Indiana is a basketball state and Noblesville is a basketball community as well so we are excited about it and it’s going to be a catalytic moment for our city.”
“Any time you can drive folks to a city or a town you’re going to put heads in beds, you’re going to have people spending money on restaurants and at stores and that’s what we like to see. Noblesville is built on the back of a lot of small businesses,” the Republican mayor said.
The arena would be built at Finch Creek Park, which has lighted pickleball and basketball courts, a splash pad, a playground and trails southeast of Boden Road and East 166th Street on the city’s east side. The 200-acre park sits about a mile north of Ruoff Music Center. The park is adjacent to Mojo Up Sports Complex.
The site is about a 40-minute drive northeast of downtown Indianapolis.
Jensen said, “So we will develop this more than likely on the Finch Creek property there, and we’re hoping not only for the arena to be developed there but also we are hoping to add some amenities as kind of a Phase 2 of our park development out there in and around this new arena.”
The move would mean the Mad Ants will leave Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, a 13,000-seat multipurpose arena in Fort Wayne.
The new arena could open during the 2024-2025 season, and the team would play at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis in the interim.
The city government expects to draw 65,000 fans annually just for the league’s games. People in Hamilton County looked forward to having a professional basketball team in their backyard.
“I think it’s pretty awesome. Anything to bring more revenue to Hamilton County and more family-friendly events for the kids. I’m all for it,” said Tom Carney, a Hamilton County resident in favor of moving the team. “We will be going to games for sure.”
The plan also calls for a new mascot in the 2024-2025 season.
The mayor said, “We’ll have some ideas here in the next month. We were so focused on the deal and the partnership agreement and moving a franchise from one city to another is no easy lift. So we’ve been focused on the infrastructure but we will get around to the name but obviously always open for ideas.”
This story was updated to correct the intersection where the arena will be located.
“We are excited to welcome Pacers Sports & Entertainment to Noblesville along with the players, coaches and staff of the G League team. The Pacers are an iconic brand with deep roots in central Indiana. Partnering with such an impactful organization opens numerous opportunities for our community and drives forward our efforts for a larger sports and entertainment district with enhanced partnerships.”
“We are working with the Pacers and other partners on programming options for the arena on days it is not used by the Pacers. The facility would be available for events like IHSAA tournaments and competitions, concerts, conferences, corporate events and graduations. Further steps are being taken to finalize development and programming partners, which may also incorporate additional project features and recreational amenities.”
“Fifty-four percent of NBA players have G League experience. Noblesville will compete in 27 media markets in 21 other states, plus Mexico and Canada. Noblesville also has a proud history of being a basketball community, including 1998 Mr. Basketball Tom Coverdale and the 2022 Millers Girls Basketball State Champions. Adding our partnership with the Pacers only cements us as a destination for basketball and youth sports.”Noblesville Mayor Chris Jensen
“The G League is world-class basketball, and PS&E is proud to bring that to Noblesville as we strengthen our basketball operations and enhance player development in one of the state’s most vibrant and growing communities. We are excited about the way this partnership fits into the bold vision for economic development Mayor Jensen has laid out, and we can’t wait to continue growing our NBA and G League fan base right here in Hamilton County.”Rick Fuson, chief executive officer, Pacers Sports & Entertainment
“We welcome the new partnership with the Pacers. The administration and council have made proactive, smart investments to assist with the financing of this partnership. We are excited to continue the strategic growth on the east side of our city and provide a new attraction for our residents and guests.”Aaron Smith, president, Noblesville Common Council
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite not making the playoffs for the third year in a row, Kevin Pritchard, the Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations, is optimistic about the future.
“We know if we can get our defense to the middle of the pack, a little above the middle (of the) pack, and keep our offense, well then, we’re going to be a good team,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon to share his thoughts on the Pacers’ 2022-23 season and what the organization will be focusing on during the offseason.
Indiana has three first-round picks in this year’s NBA Draft, in addition to a bunch of (salary) cap space, so Pritchard should be able to add some more weapons to next year’s roster.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Pacers may have failed to make the playoffs once again, but there is a different feeling within the organization heading into the off-season.
“You saw it when it was good and you saw what we’re capable of, so I’m really excited going into next year,” Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton said.
With a bunch of young, talented players already on the roster and three first-round picks in this year’s NBA Draft, the blue and gold are focusing on the future.
Pacers Head Coach Rick Carlisle said, “We possess a humility about what it’s like to hit the lower levels, go through a couple of rebuilding years. We went from 25 (wins) to 35, and now we want to make another significant jump.”
The Pacers finished this past season with a 35-47 overall record.
“I feel comfortable with where we are foundationally,” said Haliburton. “I think everybody has a pretty good rhythm of where we are right now.”
Of course, for the Pacers to find more success going forward, they will have to improve defensively. Indiana was one of the worst teams in the league on that side of the ball, allowing around 120 points per game.
“I think one thing I’ve really challenged the guys on, and what I think the organization has really challenged the guys on, is just being better individual defenders,” Pacers center Myles Turner said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Bennedict Mathurin scored 26 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 141-136 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Mathurin was one of seven Pacers to finish in double-figure scoring. Jordan Nwora and Andrew Nembhard each had 19 points. George Hill had 17 points, Buddy Hield had 15 points off the bench, Aaron Nesmith chipped in 14 points and Oshae Brissett added 12. Indiana completed its regular season with three wins in its final 10 games to finish the season 35-47.
Obi Toppin scored a game-high 34 for New York, which finished the regular season with a 47-35 record, and the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. They will meet fourth seed Cleveland in the first round.
Immanuel Quickley had 30 points, Quentin Grimes had 22 on 8-of-13 shooting, RJ Barrett finished with 18 points and Josh Hart had 10 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter.
With neither team having anything of significance to play for, the current iteration of the Knicks and Pacers authored a performance that was in no way reminiscent of their 1990s predecessors’ battles.
Entering the fourth quarter, New York led 107-100. Indiana then went on a 13-5 run over the first three minutes to take a 113-112 lead. Following a timeout, the Pacers extended the advantage to 117-112.
New York closed to within two on Toppin’s step-back 3, but Indiana ended the game by out-scoring the Knicks 24-21. The spurt was highlighted by Mathurin’s breakaway dunk.
Pacers: It will be a playoff-less spring in Indiana for the third straight season, but coach Rick Carlisle believes the starting backcourt of rookies Nembhard and Mathurin are building blocks for a brighter future. “Their competitiveness is probably the biggest thing overall,” Carlisle said during his pregame media availability, when asked about the duo’s attributes. “They both have skill. … Ben has an inner drive. It’s very unique for (a) first-year player. He really has an insatiable desire to be great and is willing to do the work. I think Drew is similar.”
Knicks: One of the themes for Tom Thibodeau in the 2022-23 season has been incremental improvement, which is what he has seen from his team. “When you look at where we ended up or where we are right now, it’s been a quantum leap but sometimes you don’t recognize that as you go through it,” Thibodeau said. “We’re a well-balanced team.”
Prior to the game, the Knicks announced the signing of forward Isaiah Roby. Per team policy, terms were undisclosed. Roby averaged 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 42 games with San Antonio this season. Over the course of his four season career with San Antonio and Oklahoma City, Roby has averaged 7.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. … Julius Randle (sprained left ankle), Jalen Brunson (right hand injury maintenance), and Duane Washington Jr. (bilateral hip soreness) missed the game for New York with injuries, while DaQuan Jeffries (strained right calf) was listed as questionable. Randle, who injured the left ankle in the Knicks’ 101-92 win over Miami on Mar. 29, watched early shooting from courtside and did not have a walking boot on. Thibodeau said the All-Star is “making good, steady progress.” … The decision to hold Brunson out of the game was “precautionary,” according to Thibodeau. New York’s starting point guard has been dealing with a sprained wrist. … Indiana center Myles Turner missed the game with left ankle soreness.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jaden Ivey had 29 points and nine assists, Killian Hayes scored a career-high 28 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the Indiana Pacers 122-115 on Friday night.
Detroit won for the second time since the All-Star Break — beating the Pacers both times to end 11-game losing streaks.
Buddy Hield made five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points to lead six Indiana players in double figures. But it wasn’t enough to avoid a third straight loss, this time in the home finale.
Instead, the Pacers blew an early 11-point lead when the Pistons went on an 18-0 run over the final three minutes of the first quarter and the first two of the second to take a 42-27 lead.
The Pistons made it 70-50 late in the first half and fended off every second-half challenge Indiana posed.
When Indiana cut the deficit to eight in the third quarter, Detroit went on a 9-4 run. When the Pacers closed to 99-95 early in the fourth, the Pistons answered with an 11-4 spurt. And when the Pacers got ton 112-106 with 5:03 to go, Detroit pulled away to seal a rare win.
Pistons: Wound up with a split in the four-game season series. … James Wiseman missed most of the first half after getting hit in the face less than two minutes into the game. He returned in the second half. … Hayes also had six assists and four steals.
Pacers: George Hill, a 14-year veteran who attended high school and college in Indianapolis, had nine points and five assists in what could be the final game in his hometown. … Andrew Nembhard had 12 points and 10 assists. … Isaiah Jackson had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. … Bennedict Mathurin had 16 points.
With the season winding down and both teams banged up, the coaches were working with extremely short-handed benches.
Eight Detroit players sat out including Bojan Bogdanovic (left Achilles tendon) and Cade Cunningham (stress fracture in left tibia). The Pacers held out six players including All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton (sprained right ankle), two-time NBA blocks leader Myles Turner (sore left ankle).
While Turner missed his seventh straight game, Haliburton missed his fifth in a row and it could come at a cost. Indiana’s star guard is second in the NBA with 10.4 assists per game but has only played in 56 games this season and with one left will fall one game short of being eligible to officially rank among the league leaders.
While the Pistons already are assured of completing a franchise-worst third straight season with a winning percentage under .300, Friday’s win allowed them to avoid matching the lowest winning percentage in franchise history. They went 16-66, for a .195 mark, in 1979-80, a season that included the firing of coach Dick Vitale just 12 games into the season.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Immanuel Quickley scored 39 points, one shy of his career high, and Quintin Grimes had a career-high 36 in the New York Knicks’ 138-129 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
Obi Toppin added 32 points and the Knicks shot 52%. Mitchell Robinson finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Jalen Smith scored 19 points for Indiana, T.J. McConnell had 18 and Bennedict Mathurin 17. McConnell had 12 assists.
The Knicks had a 52-37 rebounding edge.
The game went back and forth for much of the fourth quarter. With it tied at 120, Toppin started a 7-0 run with two dunks and Grimes added a 3-pointer.
With New York leading 97-91 in the third quarter, the Knicks used a 8-0 run, helped by a flagrant foul call, to take a 105-91 lead. The Pacers ended the third quarter with a 7-0 spurt.
The Knicks shot nearly 52% to take a 70-67 lead at halftime. Toppin scored 19 of his points in the first half. Indiana shot 50% in the first half.
After the Pacers took a 7-4 lead, the Knicks reeled off 17 unanswered point to grab control. The Pacers tied it twice late in the second quarter.
The Pacers and Knicks close the regular season in New York on Sunday. The Knicks have won the first three meetings between the two teams.
Knicks: With the No. 5 seed playoff spot clinched, Jalen Brunson sat out to rest his right hand. RJ Barrett missed his second consecutive game with an illness. … Julian Randle, who leads the Knicks with 25.1 points per game, continued to sit out with a left ankle sprain injury. Randle injured his angle March 29 and it’s uncertain whether he will be ready to play when playoff series with No. 4 seed Cleveland begins.
Pacers: With the Pacers’ slim playoff hopes ending Sunday, Indiana leaned heavily on its younger players and reserves. Tyrese Haliburton missed his fifth consecutive game with an ankle injury. Myles Turner missed his sixth game in a row with left ankle and lower backs soreness. … Gabe York made his first appearance of the season for the Pacers. York, who signed a two-way contract last week was called up from the Fort Wayne Ants. York scored nine points.
Knicks: At New Orleans on Friday night.
Pacers: Hosts Detroit on Friday night.