As Steve Kyler writes today at HoopsWorld, the Pacers have flown under the radar a little this offseason, with other Eastern Conference teams getting most of the attention. While Indiana may not have made the splash that the Nets, Knicks, Celtics, and other clubs did, new GM Kevin Pritchard suggests that Indiana shouldn't be ruled out, noting that his players "tasted a little success and they liked it." Here are a few of the other comments Pritchard made to Kyler about the Pacers' offseason:
On trying to improve the roster when their rivals are doing the same thing:
"It’s challenging. It’s a lot easier to say, 'Hey, we’ll just get a little bit better, we’ll just work on getting better,' because everybody is trying to do that. I mean, the East has got some tough teams: Boston, New York, obviously Miami, everybody is going to be shooting for them, Brooklyn, Atlanta, a couple of other teams are pretty good. It’s going to be a tough conference to play in. Chicago, they’re getting [Derrick] Rose back. It’s a tough conference and you got to play as a team and I think that’s the biggest thing for us. We have to play as a team, our chemistry is so important to us.
On the Pacers' main goal this summer:
"What we always wanted is to have a good team and bring our starters back. That’s what we really wanted. That was goal number one and we did that."
On adding Gerald Green and other high-energy bench players:
"When you’re talking about playing some of the elite teams in the East, you’ve got to be athletic. You have got to be athletic at the rim. You have got to be athletic on the wing. D.J. [Augustin] and Ian [Mahinmi] really give us some of that athleticism. They have got to incorporate their games into what [our] guys have done and the starters have done. It’s still a process and we’re still working on it. We like what we’ve seen so far, but it’s a marathon."
On his outlook for the team this season:
"I think what we have is some very good veterans and then we’ve got some up-and-coming players. Paul George, Gerald and Ian, I think those guys have the opportunity to get better. I don’t think they’ve plateaued. I don’t think they’ve made it where they want to be. As long as they keep making steps forward, we have a chance to sustain success and that’s what we’d like to have."