A very good piece by Wells in today's paper about how Frank is adjusting his practice times and using tape sessions.
Interesting that Foster re-injured the back during Bulls game. I really wonder how much time Jeff can put in. I think we are going to have to see Amundson soon, I just can't see him sticking with a three man rotation for to long in this shortened season.
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel would like to practice for four hours on off days because he enjoys teaching basketball. But he knows putting his team through grueling practice sessions wouldn't be in the Pacers' best interest during a jam-packed 66-game season.
"I recognize you can't do that so we have to do just the best we can," Vogel said.
Practice time will be hard to come by during the first month of the season for the Pacers, who play at Toronto tonight.
They have more than one day off between games just once -- Jan. 15-17 -- over the next six weeks. They also play six sets of back-to-back games during that stretch.
"You just have to find that balance," Vogel said. "You have to learn a lot off of tape with one-on-one individual sessions with the coaches. You have to learn in the film sessions and you have to be (as) efficient as possible when you get out on the court."
The Pacers on Tuesday talked about needing to improve on both ends of the court after the previous night's victory over the Detroit Pistons.
They'll have to be creative because they routinely don't practice after back-to-back games. Vogel is thinking about reducing practice time even more to avoid fatigue early in the season.
The Pacers play 15 of their next 21 games on the road.
"Day-by-day we'll just get a feel for what our guys can handle and whether it's going to be productive or counterproductive," Vogel said. "You really have to make daily decisions on that."
The Pacers want to use practice time to help newcomers David West and George Hill get comfortable playing with their teammates and work on their offensive chemistry.
They beat the Pistons, who are expected to struggle this season, by defending and rebounding well.
"You have to do it up top mentally when there's not a lot of practice time," West said. "We have to think about the good things (we did against Detroit), think about the bad things and we have to be looking to improve. If we continue to be unselfish and play together, the sky is the limit for this group."
Vogel will use film sessions as a teaching tool without taking the court.
"We have to really concentrate in film sessions," small forward Danny Granger said. "Sometimes that's tough with younger teams, but we know that's our next challenge, getting better without killing our legs. I've talked to players on teams that win every year and they have a lot more off time because they understand the game more and don't have to practice as much."
Foster stays behind
Veteran Jeff Foster (back) did not travel to Toronto so he could meet with Dan Dyrek, the team's physical therapist consultant. Foster, who has a history of back problems, re-injured it during the Dec. 20 preseason game at Chicago. He hopes to return to the lineup next week when the Pacers are on a four-game trip.
Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053.