Aaron Brooks’ focus upon his return: ‘Just win’

Aaron Brooks looks forward to beginning his ninth NBA season.

Aaron Brooks looks forward to beginning his ninth NBA season.

Aaron Brooks is officially listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are making their only visit this season to Indianapolis. But Pacers head coach Nate McMillan was encouraged after shootaround, saying he expects his backup point guard to make his season debut tonight (7:00 pm ET).

Brooks, who signed a one-year deal worth $2.7 million in the offseason to join the team as Jeff Teague’s backup, has been dealing with a sore right knee. It’s an injury that kept him out of practice for about two weeks.

“Feeling better,” Brooks said Monday after practice. “The plan was to be active in Brooklyn but I had a little tweak during practice. I’m doing a lot better now.”

The 31-year-old was happy to report that he was a full participant in Monday’s practice and that he felt “pretty good.” The key was how he felt the following day. McMillan’s expectation that Brooks will play suggests that the point guard was feeling just fine.

The veteran was smart in his approach, noting how he didn’t want an injury like this to linger throughout the season.

“It’s a long season and I don’t want it to be reoccurring so I’m trying to be cautious,” he said.

What does he want to get out of his debut, whether it happens tonight or another game?

“Just win,” he said simply. “I don’t have any personal agendas or anything like that. Be healthy as I can be, provide energy, and win games.”

The Pacers won their season opener, but have since lost two straight games — both on the road. On Tuesday, the team begins a stretch where they will play 11 of their next 15 games at home. Brooks wants to be suited up for those games … in a Pacers uniform.

“That’s the hardest thing to do is watch basketball games. They’re long,” Brooks continued. “I just want to get out there and help, man. I’m tired of wearing suit jackets.”

Also on the injury front, guard Rodney Stuckey did not take part in practice on Monday. He suffered a right hamstring strain four minutes into his appearance Friday night at Brooklyn. He sat out of Saturday’s loss in Chicago and then underwent an MRI on Monday morning.

Coach McMillan said on Monday that he had not yet been informed of the results.

“He went through stretching and some shooting, but he didn’t do anything with the team.”

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