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News » Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2009-08-11

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2009-08-11

Indiana Pacers Roster Report 2009-08-11

--F Tyler Hansbrough will have his first NBA offseason cut short. Hansbrough, the Pacers' first-round pick in June, will be sidelined up to two months because of a lingering right shin injury, which happened during his senior season at the University of North Carolina. Pacers officials are being cautious with Hansbrough's injury because they want to make sure he's able to play as many games as possible during his first season in the NBA.

--G Earl Watson is looking for an opportunity to resurrect his career after being planted on the end of Oklahoma City's bench for most of the second half of last season. The Pacers signed Watson to a one-year, $2.8-million deal after Watson was released from the Thunder in July. Watson will back up starter T.J. Ford next season.

"The expectations here, I love it," Watson said. "To me it's very similar to being in Memphis with (then-general manager) Jerry West and (then-coach) Hubie Brown. This team expects to win. This team is committed to winning a championship. That's the first words told to me and I love it. I love the so-called pressure put on it."

--C Solomon Jones has one thing on his mind when he's on the court, and it's not scoring points. Jones, who spent his first three seasons stuck on the bench in Atlanta, hopes to use his athleticism and 7-4 wingspan to help the Pacers improve their poor defense.

"I think defense sparks other things. We get out there and have that edge and get things going, that brings momentum on the offensive end," Jones said. "Defending is fun to do. Once you're stopping people and blocking shots and getting steals, it makes the game fun."

Jones, who has averaged less than 10 minutes a game in his career, will fight for minutes at center with Roy Hibbert, Jeff Foster and Troy Murphy.

"He definitely can help hold down our interior defense, and we believe he can be part of what we're trying to do here," team president Larry Bird said in a statement.

--G Mike Dunleavy won't give an exact date, but he's got a "gut feeling" that he'll return from his right knee surgery sooner than the January date coach Jim O'Brien mentioned at the end of last season.

"We still have a ways to go and we don't know how this thing is going to shake out, but I'm optimistic," Dunleavy said. "January is a nice cushion for me. It takes all the pressure off, but I'm certainly working my tail off to get back a lot sooner than that."

Dunleavy had surgery to remove a bone spur from his right patellar tendon and then had the tendon repaired in Colorado in March. He also underwent a "minor" arthroscopic procedure on his left hip in June to clean up a "long-standing injury."

"Every once in a while I may get some pain, but that's to be expected with these types of injuries and surgeries," he said. "They basically told me that it could be up to a year where I'm still feeling a little something in there. But certainly compared to where it was, it's a world of difference."


--G Mike Dunleavy is out indefinitely after undergoing right knee surgery in March.


Tyler Hansbrough, F, 6-9, North Carolina (first round) -- Pacers love Hansbrough's energy. He's been described as a young Jeff Foster with a better offensive game. Hansbrough's arrival means the Pacers are more likely to try to trade Foster.

A.J. Price, G, 6-2, Connecticut (second round) -- Price is a long shot to make the team since the Pacers already have two point guards on the roster and could have a third one if they re-sign Jarrett Jack.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: August 11, 2009


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