View Full Version : Pacers will run, run some more {Indystar.com 10.4.06}

10-05-2006, 01:46 PM
Sorry if this has been posted already.


Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle wasn't joking when he said there was going to be a huge premium on conditioning.

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Toward the target: Newly-acquired Pacers guard Darrell Armstrong makes a pass during Tuesday's camp. - DARRON CUMMINGS / Associated Press
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<!--MAIN FACTS BOX--> </td> <td width="10">http://www.indystar.com/graphics/clear.gif</td> </tr> </tbody></table> Carlisle wasted little time in having players wear out the soles of their shoes when he put them through a conditioning-filled first day of training camp.

"Running and conditioning has to become a way of life now," Carlisle said. "It's got to be an everyday commitment, because to maintain over a 100-game season, your conditioning has to be through the roof."

There will be a lot more running in practice in weeks to come as the Pacers attempt to make the transition to playing up-tempo.
"It's going to be a hard thing to do and hard on our bodies, but at the same time, it's not going to do anything but make us better," Stephen Jackson said while breathing heavily after practice. "Nobody said it's going to be easy. Winning a championship ain't easy, either. We have to start somewhere."

Zip it up

Carlisle said the league wants to curtail complaints to officials this season. The Pacers earned a reputation for complaining to officials rather than getting back on defense.

"It's going to be more important than ever to make sure our poise and composure is there and that we continue to play through tough stretches of games," Carlisle said.

The Pacers want to play with a channeled emotion.

"Our emotions have to be bottled in certain ways," Jermaine O'Neal said. "As far as being able to argue with the refs, that's something we've talked about quite a bit. That's a different type of excitement we don't want to have."

New 'do for J.O.

O'Neal is lighter and his weight isn't the only thing that changed during the offseason.

The forward has jettisoned braided hair and is sporting a low cut. "It was something talked about and negotiated at my house," he said. "Just wanted to do something different. New year, new style. I figured since I lost some weight, I can lose a couple more pounds by losing my hair, also."

O'Neal, listed at 260 pounds after finishing last season at 265, was even asked for identification while in Las Vegas with his wife last week.

"I was a little upset about it. Then I thought about it. Then I just told the guy, 'Thank you. It's a new look for me,' " he said.

This and that

The Pacers didn't make it through their first practice without an injury. Center David Harrison is day to day after he injured his left ankle when he stepped on forward Josh Powell's foot. Center John Edwards already is out with a back injury. . . . Ohio State coach Thad Matta, Southern Mississippi's Larry Eustachy and the Air Force's Jeff Bzdelik watched practice Tuesday.

-- Mike Wells and Mark Montieth