During the post game, JOB talked extensively about relentless pressure and its direct correlation to the success of the team. He is absolutely right about the Pacers need to be more commited to attacking the opponent on both ends of the floor, and with the current roster; the Pacers have to do it on a consistent basis in order for success. During the last couple of seasons, the Pacers would let their opponents get into their offensive set and then try to cover their opponents from that point on; a team can not consistently stop opposing offenses with this kind of mindset as the offense is always a step away of the defense. A good team does not wait for the opposing team, rather it is constantly on the attack no matter which team has the ball.
Though the NBA is trying to create a faster and free flowing game, it does not necessarily mean the disappearance of great defensive teams. Pacer Fans should remember that not so long ago around 2004, the Pacers were an elite defensive team, who were defeated by an even better defensive team named the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons won a championship with zero superstars. Non of their five starting players were elite offensive players, most of them wouldn't even be considered athletic in today's term. Their success lies within their ferocious competitiveness and drive to stop their opponents on every possession. That Pistons team was the best cohesive units the NBA has ever seen, as a Pacer's fan, you hate them but also envy them. That Pistons team was downright intimidating with their hard nose defense,. Unquestionably, that was one team most teams did not want to face on any given night, they were simply a terror to behold.
Now lets return to the present and JOB's comments about relentless pressure. The Pacers are no where close to a elite defensive unit, but with that said, there is no reason why they can't commit themselves to every possession. Basketball is a game of rhythm and runs, players get hot and players get cold. Hot streaks are often the products of players getting into their comfort zone and being able to get to their sweet spots. A good defensive team wrecks havoc on the flow of their opponents game by simply making them work harder on every possession to deny them their comfort zone. If this disruption is performed on every possession, even the best players will get frustrated. The Pacers have good size and good athleticism on the current team, they also have many young and high energy players. With these combination the Pacers should be more than capable of rebounding and defending. The problem is simply mindset and the execution of this mindset. The Pacers should no longer be thinking of simply beating teams, no, rather their mindset should be to tear the hearts out of their opponents with shear bruising physicality with unrelenting pressure from all sides from end to end. The Pacers already have a guy with this mentality, ( I think you all know who I'm talking about). There were moments where he simply rips the ball out of the opponents hands, you can see the absolute disbelieve on the opposing player. There is simply no defense against physical play. If the Pacers are really into about Passion and Pride, the have to make relentless pressure a matter of personal determination. Of course, these things do not happen over night, it takes time for individuals to reach these levels on individual basis and from each successive individual comes a more complete cohesive unit that rotates instantaneously on instincts. If the Pacers are really prepared to turn the corner from a franchise spiraling out of control to a playoff team, they must have this resolve to go after each play with sheer tenacity; for it is this quality that distinguish the contenders from the pretenders.