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Rush Mounts Defense Of Starting Shooting Guard Role

Both Brandon Rush and Dahntay Jones will play plenty of minutes on the wing this year, but Rush maintains the de facto starting spot he held at the start of camp.

Bruno's latest update from training camp checks in with Jim O'Brien and Rush on Rush's expected role in the lineup.

"He's a lot more comfortable with NBA basketball, he's more comfortable with what we're trying to do offensively and defensively and he knows he has the confidence not only of our coaching staff but his teammates. Those are all ingredients that will allow him to be productive from the beginning of the year."

Rush ranks second on the team in preseason scoring (15.7), with 22 of his 32 shots coming from beyond the 3-point line (making 45.5 percent). But his scoring has come in bursts, mostly in the second half. Rush has scored just eight first-half points.

One knock on Rush is that he tends to float while on the court with the starting lineup and doesn't aggressively look for offensive opportunities. Not scoring doesn't equal floating, though.

Rush's role as a starter boils down to playing defense like a madman and knocking down open shots. No sense worrying about how many points Rush scores early in games when he should be considered the fifth option on offense anyway.

When Roy Hibbert is starting, you have to assume the Pacers will run some offense through Roy in the post. So, Danny Granger is option one, with Roy, Troy Murphy and T.J. Ford varying as the next three options. I guess T.J. would be the default second option because he'll have the ball. If they get into a half court set, Roy may slide up to the second option as they work the ball through him.

Actually, on second thought, I think Granger is option one, two and three but you get the point.  Rush is dealing with kick out scraps and rebound put backs which is just fine. Heck, if he can hit 45% of his threes, that offense will be lethal and as long as he can provide the defensive effort JOB expects Rush will continue to start no matter how few points he scores.