Scott Agness: Bjorkgren arrived. He says they’re “i…

Scott Agness: Bjorkgren arrived. He says they’re “in a frustrating stretch. Competitive juices are flowing.” He has talked individually with Goga Bitadze and assistant Greg Foster about their confrontation.

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Tony East: "We're in a frustrating stretch here," Bjorkgren says of the Foster-Bitadze moment. "The competitive juices are flowing. Things like that will happen."
Scott Agness: After watching it back several times, it’s also clear Foster’s public eruption bothered Jeremy Lamb and Domantas Sabonis too. They didn’t like it. The masks hide whatever was said. Some tough love is good, if warranted. But it’s too late.

https://twitter.com/TEastNBA/status/1390120784027394050
And then things got weird. Oladipo got weird. He got arrogant. He became a superstar in his own mind. Is he surrounded by the wrong people? Talk to NBA types, they’ll tell you he’s getting very bad advice from a young agent who counts Oladipo as his only prominent basketball client. But Victor, who is 28, is his own man, a sharp and intelligent soul, and this is ultimately on him. Oladipo and his people want you to believe now that he’s all-in on making it work long-term with the Pacers.
NBA Central: Victor Oladipo’s sister and Myles Turner 👀 pic.twitter.com/RQm3EdSbNL

http://twitter.com/TheNBACentral/status/1326951954325573636
Scott Agness: Al Jefferson: "We got to figure it out, man. We can’t blame the coaches, we can blame the GM, we can’t blame the fans, we can’t blame nobody. We the ones out there. “There’s just no effort at all. And that’s something you got to have."
The Pacers entered Tuesday in a three-way tie with the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks for fifth place in the East. Both teams moved ahead of the Pacers, the Bucks defeating the Charlotte Hornets and the Hawks knocking off Phoenix. The eighth-place Miami Heat, who own the tiebreaker over Indiana, also beat the Detroit Pistons to move one game behind the Pacers. “We should have a professional approach, man, and defend our home court, especially to a team that’s not even in the playoffs,” George said of losing to the Timberwolves (29-44). “That’s what it comes down to. As a team, we’ve got to have a grit and we’ve got to own up, man up.”
“It’s tough losing a game here that we need knowing that we don’t play well on the road,” George said. “When we lose focus here, I’m not sure where our head is going to be as a team tomorrow. I’ll make sure to gather these guys around and let them understand, man, that we’ve got to win. That’s the only thing that’s important. The only thing that should be motivational is winning.”
Nate Taylor: Paul George: “There’s no urgency, no sense of urgency, no winning pride. This locker room is just not pissed off enough.”
Team president Larry Bird spent much of the day weighing the option of trading George to the Boston Celtics, a team that possesses several rotational players and valuable draft picks, including the lowly Brooklyn Nets’ first-round picks in the next two drafts. Ultimately, Bird decided not to deal George with the hope the franchise can convince him to re-sign after his expected opt-out at the end of the 2017-18 season.
George, though, said he was not pleased that Bird considered trading him after previously vowing to sign George to a max contract. “I was kind of on the ropes just like you guys were on what was about to happen,” George said of his emotions before the deadline. “It was kind of a dark moment of uncertainty and that was the frustrating part. You want me to be your guy here, I thought I would have been in the loop a little more on that.”
Not too long ago the Pacers were the main threat in the Eastern Conference to LeBron James' Miami Heat, and Paul George was leading the way. But the roster that found success a few years ago is no more, and the team is on the fringe of the playoff picture instead of at the forefront. That kind of fall from grace can get to you, and George admitted Thursday it has. "[This season] hasn't been [fun]. We're trying to work through it," George told reporters. "It's been one of the most frustrating seasons I've been a part of."
"Maybe I'm just living in the past of how good we used to be, the personnel, the guys I had around," George said. "I'm still living in that moment, maybe. I gotta put myself into a different team and maybe I have to do more, maybe that's just what it is, maybe I have to do more now. But whatever is, I'm going to figure it out."
Storyline: Indiana Pacers Turmoil?
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December 8, 2021 | 2:36 pm EST Update

Myles Turner likely to be traded?

Michael Scotto: This is a podcast from Myles I think is pretty relevant. He said, “The organization is going to do what’s best for the organization. They’re not inclined to care about your feelings in a sense. Now that I see myself in these rumors all the time, it’s just like another day for me. It’s like, ‘Oh, what else is new?’” Some scouts and executives have pointed out his fluctuating minutes under Rick Carlisle as a kind of a hint that he’ll ultimately be the one traded. Turner’s 25 (years old) and is signed through next season, as is Caris LeVert, who’s also signed through next season. Domantas Sabonis has two more years on his deal and has already been a two-time All-Star at 25.
Michael Scotto: I feel the Blazers have tried to win with Damian and CJ for so long. There are some executives I’ve spoken to who agree with my own opinion that if they were running the show in Portland, they’d start a rebuild. Norman Powell is 28 and in the prime of his career. He’s played well enough and is signed long-term for the future. Robert Convington and Jusuf Nurkic could interest playoff teams before they hit unrestricted free agency. CJ has plenty of value. Lillard would be the crown jewel of the market because Washington and Chicago have improved, and a lot of people around the league were hoping Zach LaVine or Bradley Beal would hit the trade market. That’s really unlikely at this point, given the success of their teams. Lillard or McCollum would be the most attractive trade piece a team could get out there overall.
Storyline: CJ McCollum Trade?

Damian Lillard undergoes cortisone injection procedure

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard underwent a cortisone injection procedure to his abdominal last week to mitigate the pain he’s been dealing with for the last few years, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Lillard, 31, is scheduled to be reevaluated on Friday and could return to action as soon as Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources said. The pain had reached a heightened point before the procedure.
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Ja Morant enters NBA health and safety protocols

Ja Morant’s return to the Memphis Grizzlies could be delayed further as the star guard entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on Wednesday, the team announced. Morant was not present at shootaround this morning. He’s still recovering from a sprained knee and per coach Taylor Jenkins’ timeline of a “couple of weeks”, he wasn’t expected to return for the Grizzlies’ three remaining games this week.