Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan has hailed NBA London 2017 as a ‘good opportunity’ as his team prepare to head to London.
The Pacers face the Denver Nuggets at the O2 Arena on Thursday 12th January, and McMillan was excited to be able to represent the NBA abroad.
“The opportunity to travel over and represent the NBA. It’s an important game for both groups. You’re going to see the NBA’s best, it’s not an exhibition game.” Said McMillan during an international conference call.
“These players will be playing hard, and be playing to win the game – it’s not a vacation for the teams travelling to London.
“It’s a regular season game. It’s very important, certainly for us being in a tight race here in the East.
The Pacers are in the midst of a playoff battle in the Eastern Conference, but won’t be taking things easy during their trip to London.
“Both teams know that this is a regular season game and it counts. It’s not going to be an exhibition atmosphere.
“The players will be focused on playing the game and winning the game so you’re going to see the best from both teams and it’s an important game.
“We only see Denver twice a year and this will be our first time seeing them so it’s a lot on the line.
“The focus will be there from the players and certainly the NBA knows the focus will be there and it will be a good game.
“That’s why they scheduled a regular season game there as opposed to an exhibition game.
“Guys will be ready to play, we’re hopeful that we will continue to be healthy and all of our guys will be able to play at that time.”
The Denver Nuggets host the Indiana Pacers at The O2 in London on Jan. 12 as part of NBA Global Games London 2017. The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS (www.nba.tv).