IC Cold Links: Will Pacers Zone Out Against Warriors Or Adjust After Losing To Kings?

The Indiana Pacers would have been working on their zone offense in preparation for the Golden State Warriors regardless of how things went in Sacramento this past Wednesday. Mark Jackson is trying to put an emphasis on defense with the offensive-minded roster he took over at Golden State, so he has mixed things up with a zone defense at times to mask some of his individual defensive liabilities.

In this timely story on the increased use of zone defenses across the NBA, Golden State is credited with playing a zone for 10.3% of their defensive possessions which leads the league. Of course, this story was written before the Kings used all of their fourth quarter defensive possessions to stymie the Pacers in a zone on Wednesday.

Tom Ziller took the time to break down those possessions (I tried this too, but it forced me to drink too much and I fell asleep) wondering if the Kings had found something to hang their hat on or if the Pacers were just horrible. I'd say you have to go with both, but credit the Kings for forcing the Pacers into that horrible funk, as TZ surmises.

With the exception of recovering on loose balls and offensive rebounds, the Kings were almost perfect defensively in the fourth quarter. This wasn't a fluke with the opponents missing tons of open shots. This was an opponent completely thrown off by the zone, the quickness of the Kings lineup and its own inability to get anything easy. The Kings still shouldn't have won -- Sacramento's halfcourt offense was as bad as Indiana's late, but those turnovers created some break opportunities.

So what tough lessons did the Pacers learn after zoning out in Sacramento? We'll find out tonight in Golden State.

Check out the links after the jump.

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