View Full Version : Offense, rotations solid, so time to tighten defense- Caught in the Web

02-21-2011, 05:12 PM
Phase 1 of the Frank Vogel Transition Program is complete.
The offense has been restructured and streamlined, its emphasis shifted from the perimeter to the paint.

The lineup and rotations have been established with clearly defined roles.

And the Pacers, not coincidentally, have gone 7-3 to push their record to 24-30 and their standing to eighth in the Eastern Conference.

As they emerge from the All-Star break this week, however, the Pacers must get busily to work on Phase 2:


In their last six games, the Pacers yielded an average of 107.8 points on 47.4 percent shooting. Getting torched by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (who each put 41 on the Pacers within eight days) is one thing. Submitting to 115 points and .515 shooting by Detroit, which happened in the final game before the break last Wednesday, is quite another.

"I knew the risk of restructuring our offense and neglecting the defensive work that we needed to be a good defensive team and I knew it was going to bite us sometime," Vogel said. "… We just aren’t as tied together defensively as we need to be right now and that is on me and part of the process.

"Defense involves repetition and hard (work) and most of our practices have been restructuring our offense and working on reads and becoming a more efficient team. I understood there was going some slippage on the defensive end."

The biggest adjustment will be in mentally tying together the five players on the court.

Too many times in recent games, there has been little or no help coming once a perimeter player is beaten. The Pacers need to regain their willingness to step up and take charges, to rotate and defend the rim. They were among the league leaders in blocked shots through 44 games (6.11) but have dropped by two per game in the 10 since.

It must begin with mindset because there will be precious little time to make substantial schematic changes. The Pacers have 22 games in the next 5 weeks, with seven sets of back-to-backs. Practice time will be scarce.

This team has a habit of coming out of the break with renewed vigor. In the past three seasons, they went 44-43 (.506) after the break, compared to 60-99 (.377) before.

So if they can keep the offense rolling and tighten the screws just a bit on defense, the talk will not just be of making the playoffs but climbing as high as the sixth seed.


I liked this article. Just thought that I would share it, but just one thing; I really, really hold out hope that rotations aren't going to be the same after break. For the good of our defense we need a defensive shooting guard in the starting lineup and we need to see some more of Paul George who is probably our most talented player.

The question I have for you guys is do you think the rotations are going to change tomorrow night at all?

02-21-2011, 05:17 PM
I agree with Vogel - the problem with the defense has less to do with who is playing. Afterall the pacers were a top 5 defensive team through mid December.

02-21-2011, 05:45 PM
I know what I want to see in the rotation, but tomorrow I am pretty much expecting Nick Young to go off on Mike followed by him not coming in until the beginning of the fourth logging a total of 10-18 minutes or so.

02-21-2011, 05:48 PM
We have the capability of playing really good defense.

We were a top defensive team earlier in the year.

I'm excited to see what we bring for the remainder of the season.

I think everyone is gonna be back to themselves.

02-21-2011, 05:56 PM
A couple of things that changed from the beginning of the year:

1.) And most importantly, Roy was averaging 3 blocks per game and guards wouldn't come into the paint nearly as much with him in the game. He still gets his blocks, but he isn't the same force.

2.) Danny Granger isn't playing defense anymore again.

3.) Brandon Rush started against very good shooting guards and put up a bit of resistance against them. When he and Danny were playing intense defense we had quite possibly the best defensive tandem in the league at that time.

4.) We were playing less talented teams.

02-21-2011, 06:15 PM
3.) Brandon Rush started against very good shooting guards and put up a bit of resistance against them. When he and Danny were playing intense defense we had quite possibly the best defensive tandem in the league at that time.

This. There was a stretch of 10 or so games where the two of them played great defense. I was really excited about it. DC seemed to be better too - defensive intensity can be contagious (which is not to say everyone has the tools to be an excellent defender).

02-21-2011, 06:20 PM
4.) We were playing less talented teams.

As far as less talented is concerned, it's pretty hard to find less talented offensive teams than the one's we've played under Vogel so far.

Of the 10 games we've played so far under Vogel, 7 have been against teams in the bottom 1/3 of the league in offensive efficiency. Here's the breakdown of those 10 games:

Opponent Avg. Off. Efficiency Against Pacers
TOR 102.5 89.4
CLE 98.4 109.8
POR 104.4 87.9
NJ 99.8 92.5
MIA 108.8 119.4
CHA 100.5 109.6
MIN 102.0 106.1
MIL 98.2 102.1
MIA 108.8 108.9
DET 102.6 119.8

So in the last 10 games, we've played 6 bad defensive games, 1 average defensive game, and 3 good ones.

02-21-2011, 06:21 PM
not sure it matters but rotations might not be changed until after the trade deadline. hoping the change is made starting against the wizards tues.

rush, djones, george all preferred over dun at starting sg.