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The Pacers wrapped up their rookie/free agent camp at Conseco Fieldhouse on Sunday.
You can tell things will be different around the Fieldhouse.
New coach Jim O’Brien let the media watch most of practice, which included a lot of scrimmaging. He even kept the curtains around the practice court open, allowing fans on the outside to get sneak peak at the team.
Shawne Williams walked by me after practice Saturday and said, “I’ve never worked this hard in my life.”
I can’t compare O’Brien’s style to Rick Carlisle’s because Carlisle only let the media watch them shoot free throws. I can say this, though, it may only be July, but I like what I see out of O'Brien.
O’Brien is real hands on with his players and preaches fundamental basketball like how to set a screen and where to have your hands positioned on defense. He is quick to praise a player when he does something good.
One, or I should say, a couple of the things that stood out over the weekend is that there is no doubt that O’Brien likes to run and shoot the 3-point shot.
O’Brien and his staff pointed out to players when they took long 2-point shots or had their foot on the 3-point line. O’Brien was constantly telling his players to get the ball up the court quick. He stopped a drill once to point out that the shot clock was down to 20 seconds and they hadn’t crossed half court yet.
Here are a couple of other tidbits
--The Pacers are still looking for a backup point guard.
They’ve talked to the agents of Chucky Atkins, Jason Hart, Mo Williams and Keith McLeod. Tony Delk, who O’Brien coached at Boston and the University of Kentucky, is also a possibility as a third point guard.
--Kareem Rush isn’t as good of a pure shooter as Jason Kapono, but I like his acquisition better because he’s not a one-dimensional player. Rush can put the ball on the ground and attack the basket. Kapono isn’t effective if you take away his shot.