Near the end of a recent Indiana Pacers practice, Al Jefferson blocked a shot. That does not happen every day, because Jefferson has never been known for his vertical leap. The reaction to Jefferson’s block triggered a mock celebration amongst his teammates. Jefferson was too amused to be insulted. It’s part of the atmosphere he loves about this year’s Pacers. “Treated me like that was my first blocked shot I ever had,” said Jefferson. “The only thing I don’t like about this team is that they call me old. I got to live with that.” The Pacers are glad that Jefferson — their oldest player at 33 — is still living with them, and producing for them. His name was discussed in potential deals at the trade deadline. However, Pacers president Kevin Pritchard did not part with Jefferson, partly because of his importance off the bench, and partly due to his value as a locker room mentor. The first half of the Pacers’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday proved Jefferson has not lost his low-post moves. Simply put, he took Nets center Jarrett Allen to school for 8 minutes. On one play, Jefferson pump-faked Allen, made him jump like a pogo stick, then went past him for a dunk. On another play, Jefferson froze Allen with a ball fake, then made a fadeaway jumper. When Jefferson’s flurry ended, he had scored 13 points during an 8-minute stretch, while shooting 6-for-6 from the floor. Pacers guard Cory Joseph was not surprised. He thought of a nickname for Jefferson years ago, when Jefferson was playing for the Utah Jazz.
Joseph calls Jefferson 'Instant Buckets.' Pacers call Jefferson invaluable.
Indianapolis Star | Feb 16