Players dread annual conditioning test

For every single player to begin training camp, he must pass a physical. That includes a full examination, analysis of previous injuries, baseline concussion test, a stress test, X-rays or MRIs for some, and more.

For the coaching staff to see that every player not only worked but also stayed in shape throughout the five-month offseason, they must go through a conditioning test. For the Pacers, that came Tuesday evening as part of practice number two of the season.

“That test is really to send a message that you can’t sit on the sofa all summer long and come in here and pass that test,” said coach Nate McMillan.

McMillan has scheduled three two-a-days — all over the first four days — during camp. Evening practices typically focus on plays, shooting, and conditioning.

Pacers have 19 players in camp, including 16 with guaranteed contracts.

Pacers have 19 players in camp, including 16 with guaranteed contracts.

So, when the players came back Tuesday for 6:00 p.m. practice, they knew the task in front of them.

Jeff Teague, who spent his first seven seasons in Atlanta, said they typically scheduled to take the test with a trainer before the season even got started.

“The first day of training camp is new to me, so I guess we’ll see how it goes,” Jeff Teague said.

Coach McMillan gave Paul George the option not to run it since he more than a month of his offseason with Team USA and in Rio winning an Olympic gold medal.

“I’m going to run,” he shared at media day on Monday. “It starts with me. I’m going to run. I’m not excited about it, but how can I get on my teammates if I’m not on the line.

“I’m not in the best shape, but I’m in shape ready enough for training camp.”

Each player must run four down-and-backs five times with two minutes rest in between each set. Each position has a specific time to complete each set. Note: Players can bank time should it take them longer each time.

Point guards: 60 seconds
Shooting guards: 61 seconds
Small forwards: 62 seconds
Power forwards: 64 seconds
Centers: 65 seconds

Should a player not satisfy the requirements — and McMillan said he’s only had one player fail to do so in his 12 seasons — they are required to spend additional time with the strength and conditioning coaches.

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