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News » Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-08-21

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-08-21

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-08-21
Finding players that can play up tempo and shoot three-pointers has become the second option for the Pacers this summer.

President Larry Bird's primary focus has been to find players that make defense a priority.

Bird has added Dahntay Jones, Earl Watson and Solomon Jones, all defensive-minded players, to the roster this summer.

"As far as the defensive end, we knew we had to get better, and I think these guys will be able to establish themselves as a defensive team now," Bird said. "Our second unit is rounding out. We have different types with Dahntay and Hansbrough and Earl and those guys."

The Pacers averaged more than 105 points a game last season, but they allowed 106 points, fifth-worst in the league.

"I think Larry has put together a group of players that want to work and get better," coach Jim O'Brien said. "I think we have people that bring defensive toughness and are willing to pay the price (in practice) to get better. I think the willingness and ability to pay the price always works out. Developing the mental and defensive toughness pays off at the end."

Dahntay Jones will back up All-Star Danny Granger and Brandon Rush on the wing. Watson will back up Ford at the point, and Solomon Jones will team with Roy Hibbert, Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster at center.

"(For me) it's being really aggressive, picking up full court, dictating the tempo of the game," Watson said. "For us it's important because this team likes to run a lot, and the more stops you get, the easier the shots you are going to get in transition, the more fun the game is and more fun to watch and be a part of. Try to set the tempo on the ball, and it starts at the point."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: August 21, 2009


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