EXCLUSIVE: Damjan Rudez admits Indiana Pacers missed Paul George a lot

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The Indiana Pacers have been looking in enviously at the NBA Playoffs this year.

After several successful years where they have done incredibly well during the regular season and made deep playoff runs, Indiana failed to make the post-season.

The Pacers missed out by just one game, with the Brooklyn Nets grabbing the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Missing PG

GiveMeSport spoke exclusively to Pacers man Damjan Rudez and the Croatian small forward was quick to emphasise how much the team missed Paul George.

"Yeah it was, of course we missed him a lot," Rudez told us. "He is a franchise player and without him we struggled and it was hard to find the right chemistry in the team."

But George wasn't the only important player that Indy had to do with it as they struggled, with both David West and George Hill spending significant amount of time forced out on the sidelines.

"But it was not only him, David West was hurt for part of the year and George Hill was hurt for a while so it was hard for us to be at our best on the court. The overall result of that was that we were one game short of making the playoffs."

Better Next Year

Whilst the Pacers may have struggled in 2014, Rudez seemed adamant that next season will be a completely different story, with the Pacers being back where they belong at the top of the Eastern Conference, challenging the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks for the number one spot.

"We are sure that once Paul gets back he will be in full attack mode and that we are going to be such a better team, just because of the fact that he demands so much attention from the other team it makes chances for us and we will be a much better team."

Rudez spoke to us from Gran Canaria, where he was part of the NBA's Basketball Without Borders initiative, serving as NBA ambassadors to European youth in what was the 15th year of Basketball Without Borders.

Some of the league's premier players attended the BWB camp when they were kids, including Joel Embiid, Marc Gasol, Marco Belinelli and Nikola Mirotic.


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Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference

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