France vs. Belgium - Basketball International

Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi to miss World Cup for France, out 2-3 months with shoulder injury

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France was already having a tough time of it this World Cup. The defending EuroBasket champions are without Tony Parker, Joakim Noah and a host of other key players from that tournament are taking this one off for France.

Now another blow: Center Ian Mahinmi has an injured shoulder and is out for the World Cup. Worse news for the Pacers is he could be out 2-3 months, which likely means most of training camp and likely into the start of the season.

Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports got confirmation of the news from the man himself.

“Yes, [the news is true],” Mahinmi wrote to early Friday. “I will be back in Indy sometime this week for (further) exam on my shoulder…”

Mahinmi felt a sharp pain in his left shoulder and then had an MRI later that afternoon, which revealed the injury was severe enough to keep him out of the FIBA World Cup, according to the French Federation of Basketball.

The Pacers have been some of the biggest supporters of their guys going out in international basketball, with former Team USA member and now Pacers president Larry Bird leading the way. But the Pacers have now lost Paul George (likely for the season) and now Mahinmi.

It’s already going to be a rough season for the Pacers. This doesn’t help matters any.

Mahinmi is a key rotation big man, coming in behind Roy Hibbert so the Pacers could use him. He’s had shoulder problems in the past, including at the end of last season. With this he’s not going to miss many if any games that matter, but it’s just another setback. But one the Pacers don’t need.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.