The Pacers Fan Jam once again gave spectators a chance to get autographs, pose for pictures, and shoot free throws on the court at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. However, the day was not just about fun and games, a 12-minute intrasquad scrimmage was part of the festivities and point guard George Hill was a participant.
"I've been trying to get back, slowly but surely here. It is still taking time, but every day is getting a lot better. Today was my first time back out here on the court and it felt pretty good," said Hill following the scrimmage.
Hill is dealing with a hip pointer and was unable to play in any of the Pacers seven preseason games. While his availability for Wednesday's regular season opener against Toronto is not known, Sunday's scrimmage should be viewed as a positive development.
"As much as George wanted to come back and play, he knew that it was important to rest and make sure that he was going to be fine for later down the line. He is still not 100 percent, but he is fighting through it, he is a strong person, it is good to see him actually get some reps though," said teammate Paul George Sunday.
The Pacers are dealing with another key injury as the regular season approaches. Danny Granger participated in a three-point shootout Sunday, but did not play during the scrimmage. He was sitting near the scorers bench and could be seen icing his ailing left knee.
The schedule is not kind to the Pacers to start the 2012-13 season as five of their first six games are on the road. However, this is a veteran team that learned a lot of valuable lessons a year ago. The goal is to start strong and follow in the footsteps of the other squad that plays at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"Today was my first day practicing for awhile, but to come out here with my teammates and just show these fans that we're going to try to do the best we can to tip-off where the Fever left us, with a championship. We're on our journey to get to that level and it starts right here," added Hill.
After Wednesday's game against the Raptors, the Pacers travel to Charlotte Friday before the home opener Saturday against the Sacramento Kings.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times