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Pacers media day: Praise of Augistin plentiful

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Pacers held Media Day Monday — otherwise known as Optimism Day — and trotted out a team with mostly old faces and a few new ones.

The starting five of George Hill, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West and Roy Hibbert is intact, but the bench has been reshuffled. Gone are Darren Collison, Leandro Barbosa and Lou Amundson, and in their places are D.J. Augustin, Gerald Green and Ian Mahimi.

Larry Bird stepped away as team president, only to have Donnie Walsh — the man who left that position with the Pacers in 2008 for the New York Knicks — return to fill Bird’s shoes.

In front of the microphones, most of the talk centered around the Pacers taking the proverbial ‘next step’ after reaching the first round of the playoffs in 2011 and the second round last season. There were also differing mindsets on blowing a 2-1 series lead at home to Miami in the Eastern Conference Semifinals last May. Lastly, there was no debate on which player has stood out the most in workouts.


On expectations:

“We finished last season feeling like we were good enough to win the championship. We’re a team that sets our sights high, we shoot for the moon. And we work our butts off trying to get those goals. Those are some immediate steps, but we’re dreaming big here.” — coach Frank Vogel


“Going further in the playoffs. Getting over that hump in Miami. We want to win our division.” — center Roy Hibbert

On playoff loss to Miami:

“We pushed them. We pushed them to greatness. They — LeBron (James) and (Dwayne) Wade — needed to play at a level together that they hadn’t reached yet. We challenged them. They rose to the challenge at the time and were able to take the series, but for us it was a great growth step.” — Vogel


“I really haven’t gotten over it and I know some of my teammates haven’t either. It’s really fuel for us. The fact that we were up 2-1 and had the game here in Indiana, and it’s that we let the series get away from us.” — forward Danny Granger


“Out of sight, out of mind. If I look back at the past, I’m going to trip over my future that’s ahead of me. It was a game, we lost it. We lost the series. You have to move on.” — point guard George Hill


On backup point guard D.J. Augustin:


“He makes great decisions with the basketball, but is a laser three-point shooter. So if you help off him at all, he’ll burn you.” — Vogel


“I’ve never seen somebody have as good of handles as him.” — Hibbert


“One guy who I’m really, really impressed with is D.J. Augustin. His pass-first mentality, the fact he’s probably a starting guard in the NBA and we have him coming off the bench.” — Granger


Free throws

“There are a lot of coaches out there that don’t have good teams right now, and we do. That’s very, very exciting.” — Vogel, on his level of anticipation for the season


“To tell you the truth, it was not really about the money for me. It was the fact that, in the back of my mind, I wanted to be with the Pacers. … Obviously what I was given this summer was a statement for my hard work and I’m truly dedicated to this team and want to see it go further. I’ll never stop working.” — Hibbert, who signed a four-year, $58 million deal in July


“You can’t lose with either one of those guys.” — Granger, on Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird


“I haven’t seen anybody dunk like Gerald Green, so I would say Gerald Green.” — Granger, on whether Green or Paul George was the better dunker


DAY            DATE                     OPPONENT            TIME        NETWORK

Pre Season

Saturday      October 20      Memphis      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       October 26      at Chicago (N Dame)     7:00pm      FOX Sports Indiana

Regular Season (all Pacers’ games will be televised this season)

Wednesday      October 31      at Toronto    7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       November 2      at Charlotte    7:00 pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      November 3      Sacramento      7:00pm      FOX Sports Indiana

Monday    November 5      at San Antonio     8:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday    November 7      at Atlanta      7:30 pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       November 9      at Minnesota      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      November 10      Washington      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      November 13      Toronto      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      November 14      at Milwaukee      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       November 16      Dallas       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday      November 18      at New York      12:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      November 19      at Washington      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      November 21      New Orleans      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       November 23      San Antonio      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      November 27      at L.A. Lakers      10:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       November 30      at Sacramento      10:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      December 1      at Golden State     10:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      December 4      at Chicago      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      December 5      Portland      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       December 7      Denver       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday      December 9      at Oklahoma City     7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      December 12      Cleveland      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       December 14      Philadelphia      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      December 15      at Detroit      7:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      December 18      at Milwaukee      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      December 19      Utah       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       December 21      at Cleveland      7:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      December 22      at New Orleans     8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      December 26      Chicago      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       December 28      Phoenix      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      December 29      at Atlanta      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      December 31      Memphis      3:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      January 2      Washington      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       January 4      at Boston      8:00pm     ESPN

Saturday      January 5      Milwaukee      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      January 8      Miami       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Thursday      January 10      New York      8:00pm     TNT

Saturday      January 12      Charlotte      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday      January 13      at Brooklyn      6:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      January 15      at Charlotte      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      January 16      at Orlando       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       January 18      Houston      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      January 21      at Memphis      1:00pm     ESPN

Wednesday      January 23      at Portland      10:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      January 26      at Utah       9:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      January 28      at Denver      9:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      January 30      Detroit       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       February 1      Miami       7:00pm     FSI/ESPN

Tuesday      February 5      Atlanta       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      February 6      at Philadelphia     7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       February 8      Toronto      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      February 11      Brooklyn      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      February 13      Charlotte      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      February 20      New York      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       February 22      Detroit       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      February 23      at Detroit      7:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      February 26      Golden State      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Thursday      February 28      L.A. Clippers      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       March 1      at Toronto      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday      March 3      vs. Chicago      8:00pm     ESPN

Wednesday      March 6      Boston       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       March 8      at Orlando      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday      March 10      at Miami      6:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      March 13      Minnesota      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       March 15      L.A. Lakers      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      March 16      at Philadelphia     7:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      March 18      at Cleveland      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      March 19      Orlando      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       March 22      Milwaukee      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      March 23      at Chicago      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      March 25      Atlanta       7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Wednesday      March 27      at Houston      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Thursday      March 28      at Dallas      8:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Saturday      March 30      at Phoenix      9:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Monday      April 1       at L.A. Clippers     10:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday      April 5       Oklahoma City     8:00pm     FSI/ESPN

Saturday      April 6       at Washington      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      April 9       Cleveland      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Friday       April 12      Brooklyn      7:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Sunday     April 14      at New York      3:30pm     FOX Sports Indiana

Tuesday      April 16      at Boston      8:00pm     TNT

Wednesday      April 17      Philadelphia      8:00pm     FOX Sports Indiana

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