'He lives to play basketball': Buddy Hield's absence felt
The veteran guard had played in his first 101 games as a Pacer. But he was not in the building Monday due to illness. He's only missed four games in seven seasons.
Buddy Hield has a laundry list of items that are part of his daily routine. From his daily tweet giving thanks … to his individual warmup that includes a massage and stretching with massage therapist Jon Christopher, shooting a piece of paper into the arms of someone courtisde before tipoff and touching the ball during any stoppage in play.
It’s a lot.
And it’s all done for a reason, something he learned from Harrison Barnes.
“If you look at a bad night with Buddy, the next day might have five different workouts,” assistant coach Lloyd Piece said with a smile. “He is about as consistent of a player as I’ve seen in terms of his game prep.
“He’s like a baseball player; he has a routine, he has a rhythm and he keeps it.”
Hield, however, was unable to complete his routine on Monday. He was under the weather, at home and away from the team with a non-Covid illness.
And by not playing against the Dallas Mavericks, his streak of 101 consecutive games played since being acquired by the Pacers in Feb. 2022 officially came to an end.
“That’s something that’s very important to him,” head coach Rick Carlisle said prior to their 127-104 loss. “He takes a lot of pride in it.
“He’s a guy that’s gonna kick and scream before he misses a game, but this is something where the doctor intervened and just said, ‘This is what we have to do, this is what you have to do.’ I’m sure he’ll feel better in a couple days and we’ll see where we are there. He’s got to be very disappointed.”
More than his streak with the Pacers, Hield had appeared in 174 consecutive games dating back to his time with the Sacramento Kings.
Even more: Before Monday night, Hield had only been sidelined just once over the last five seasons: a stretch of 446 games played.
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