The Pacers will be surprising alot of NBA teams that have previously beaten us. They ALL know that we're capable of beating them (and we have beaten the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat in the past). What we've always lacked was consistency and continuity of playing fundamental basketball each and every game. We've always lived and died by the 3pt shot. This style of play would have been disastrous in the playoffs resulting in a 4-1 or 4-0 sweep. Now, Frank's system may have changed our chances of competing for at least six or seven games in a future playoff series against any opponent.
Frank has kept it simple and the team is focused on these NEW team goals:
1. Make a concerted effort to attack the rim all game long
2. Look for Hibbert/Hans/Josh in the low post & early in the shot clock
3. Win the rebound battle using our Team's height advantage
4. Increase our free throws (which happens from attacking the rim)
5. Be patient on offense and stop chucking up 3 pointers
6. Run simple plays on offense; low post/pick-n-roll/inside-out (in this order)
7. Relentless team defensive pressure to create turnovers and easy buckets (i.e. dunks)
Once we add B. Rush and L. Stephenson to the mix, I ONLY see us getting better and better at achieving ALL of the above team goals. Our defense will get better with the more athletic Rush and Stephenson as well as our ability to attack the rim, team rebound, and post up (Lance against smaller PGs) for higher percentage shots. Our bench is also much deeper than some teams in the Eastern Conference. We haven't used Lance Stephenson or Brandon Rush or TJ Ford or Solo in these last four games. I have a sneaking suspicion that they would ALL play well in Frank Vogel's "system" of playing "common sense" basketball.