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3-balls are Nice, but Gimme Some Defense

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Here's another article discussing the 3-balls-aflyin' offense O'B expects from the Pacers this year. While this article focuses on relentless 3-point shooting, there's certainly more to the game plan for success.

"I just think it's a hell of a weapon," O'Brien said. "It's very difficult to guard if you have three or four guys on the court who can shoot the 3, with one good low-post player.

"The formula of good, tough defense and unpredictable offense is very important. Teams that are utilizing that (philosophy) are teams that are succeeding.

"I can't have enough perimeter shooters."
There you have it. I'm not overly concerned with the offense regardless of how many points are scored on 3s. The "good, tough defense" part of the formula is where my concern lies. If indeed, the Pacers defense becomes a positive attribute, O'Bs impact as a coach will be tremendous. Sure Dick Harter will get credit for his defense, but O'B will have set the tone and changed the culture to make it happen. If a player won't be benched for missing a few threes, hopefully he will for blowing the defensive plan. There has to be some accountability to emphasize an improvement in defense and rebounding.

The players sound as positive as O'B about the change in the team. Lots of talk about working harder but enjoying the work. Shawne Williams expressed it here:
"I'm a totally better shooter than last year," he said after the summer league practices. "Right now, my legs aren't there. I'm not used to running like that and then shooting 3s.

"I love it, though. I like to play that way."
I love it, too.