Nate McMillan to begin 2017-18 season with a nine-man rotation

As a new Pacers season gets underway, Nate McMillan plans to use a nine-man rotation.

“My focus will be really a nine-man rotation,” he said entering his second year as Pacers head coach. “Damien [Wilkins] will see some minutes. With Glenn [Robinson III] being out I’ll go to more of a nine (pause) … and a half man rotation.” [laughs]

There are just two starters back from last season, Thad Young and Myles Turner. Those two, who make up the starting front court, were recently voted team captains by their teammates.

New to the starting lineup: Darren Collison, Victor Oladipo, and Bojan Bogdanovic.

The second unit consists of Cory Joseph, Lance Stephenson, T.J. Leaf, and Domantas Sabonis.

[Pacers Depth Chart]

McMillan said he plans to bring first-round pick T.J. Leaf, selected 18th overall, along slowly — aiming to play him between 10 to 15 minutes per game.

Leaf, at 6-foot-10 and 230 pounds, will strictly play power forward. The void of Robinson III, who had ankle surgery last Friday and is expected to miss at least three months, will be filled by committee.

Some minutes by Lance Stephenson, and potentially spot minutes for Damien Wilkins, the 37-year-old who last played in an NBA game in 2013 with Philadelphia.

“I feel good,” said Lance Stephenson. “I feel like it’s a new beginning. Now that I’m 100 percent, I’m ready to get after it, I’m ready to win some games, and have some fun.

“I had a great training camp. … I feel like I learned a lot and I feel like our team is more together.”

The Pacers’ first two games are at home — Wednesday against Brooklyn, Friday versus Portland — and then they plan three road games over five days … including a Oct. 25 visit to Oklahoma City (and Paul George).

See Also: Click here to see the Pacers full 2017-18 schedule

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