Pacers Preseason About To Get More Interesting

Mike Dunleavy hopes to return to action for tomorrow night's game against Memphis and if not, then on Saturday at San Antonio. According to Bruno's latest Caught in the Web, Dun's return is welcomed news for Jim O'Brien and T.J. Ford. Both the bench coach and floor general know they need their key players on the floor together to develop the timing and chemistry for a team that will rely on all of its parts working as one.

JOB plans to use regular season rotations for the remaining preseason games, so having the players he expects to be in those rotations is critical. Ford is well aware that when he's running the point it changes everything for the players running with him.

"You've got so many new guys and you have a style but at the end of the day we have to make that style our identity," said T.J. Ford. "Right now, we're in the process of finding out what kind of team we are. We have a couple more weeks to get at it and try to nail it down.

"I think we're getting better, I think we're progressing from the day we came here. We're improving as a team, we're improving on getting to know each other a lot better on the court and what each person brings. Now we've got to establish our tempo, what type of team we're going to be and how hard we have to play and establish our roles and we'll be fine."

Dunleavy is a key cog in the offense and he wants to make sure he's on the same page as his fellow starters well before opening night. JOB hopes Dun's presence will help the offense fire on all cylinders.

"Of all the things we miss about not having Mike Dunleavy is that he moves so well that he makes everybody else move well," he said. "People see him get layups after layups in the halfcourt offense and then they understand, 'if he can get layups, let me get layups.'

"There's too much standing now. There's not enough sprinting the lanes. And that has to correct itself for us to be a good basketball team and it needs to correct itself in the next 14 days."

Hopefully the offensive flow will improve, not only leading to more easy buckets but to allow the team find a rhythm and improve the shooting in general. As the season opener draws closer, there's plenty of parts of the game to analyze throughout the remaining preseason games. Hopefully all of those parts fit together nicely by October 29th.

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