Everyone is thrilled that basketball season begins in three short days as the Pacers host the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Training camp however is draining for all parties involved.

For the coaches it’s a ton of planning and deciding what to work on in each session. It’s determining the lineups pushing the players but also understanding that nothing is won in training camp. They also have to be fair to the end of the roster and ensure they receive a fair assessment.

As the Pacers concluded their eighth practice – two more to go – head coach Frank Vogel walked over and stated that his team just had the “best practice of training camp so far.” That’s particularly impressive coming off a two-a-day and being nearly a week into things.

During a competitive scrimmage to end practice 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert dove out of bounds not once but twice laying it all on the line.

When asked whether he agreed with Vogel’s assessment that Wednesday’s practice was the best so far point guard George Hill first said “I’m too tired to answer that now.”

Then he did.

“I think the energy level that we had today the amount of communication that we had” he said. “Everyone [is] just putting their life on the line.”

For all involved training camp is a grind but a necessity leading into a new season.

“Everyone feels like they're 18-year vets in the NBA body-wise” Hill explained. “I think everyone's super tired over-exhausted and bodies feeling like its breaking down. That's the nature of training camp. You got to take care of your body so that's why we pay our trainers good money to keep us in tip-top shape.”

For the players with such a talented team many are out to keep their spot while others are just trying to make the roster. There are new faces new plays and a whole new expectation level. Each day players are practicing lifting receiving treatment for their aches and bunches of them are getting massages from the team’s massage therapist Fadi Kazma

Hill said Wednesday that he’s taking care of his health in a whole new way – with a personal chef. A handful of guys on the team already have one and Hill decided that it’s time for him to at least try it.

“I’m probably one of the most unhealthy eaters on our team” he said. “I still eat a lot of McDonald’s Wendy’s and Burger King and things like that; Kounty Kitchen. Just trying to change my diet to help my body in the long run. It may not affect me now but it’s affecting my energy level and it’s going to affect me in the future. Just trying to prepare myself for my long-tenured years in the NBA.”