The Pacers ere expected to immediately not be in playoff contention, but they clearly didn’t get the memo.
And point guard Tyrese Haliburton said there’s a reason for that. Mainly, the Pacers have been fueled by those who said they aren’t any good.
“Everybody has something to prove,” Haliburton told reporters. “(Buddy Hield) and I got traded last year. (Bennedict Mathurin) feels like he should have been drafted higher. Jalen Smith got traded. Myles Turner, there’s always trade rumors with him. So we have a lot of guys who have a lot of prove and a lot of guys that are hungry.”
It’s been showing early, as the Pacers (7-6) improved to a game above .500 with a road win over the Hornets on Wednesday.
That said, coach Rick Carlisle cautioned that there is more work ahead.
“We are not throwing any parties — we are above .500 for the first time in a long time, which is great,” Carlisle told reporters. “But this is work. If we are going to keep winning we are going to have to keep an edge. We are going to have keep giving each other energy and doing the simple things well.”