Look, I understand the growth of hold-over players along with the emphasis on defense we hoped to see didn't transition from words to deeds on the court in Atlanta. Consistency appears like it will be an issue. Coach Dakich also raised a great point on his radio show yesterday the he didn't like the body language of the team. No one was fired up on the bench. T.J. Ford wasn't demanding better of his teammates when they couldn't get him an outlet pass, nor did anyone else step up to demand better. I went back and watched the tape last night looking for what DD was talking about, and he was absolutely right.
A factor worth considering though is all of the new faces on the team. This was the first time together under live fire, and with four of the new faces playing significant minutes there is an adjustment period for all involved. It goes past where do they like the ball and when, but also how do they react. Who needs someone in their face? Who needs a pep talk? Earl Watson was on with JMV yesterday and said he was happy to see his team's disgusted reaction to the loss. He also mentioned trying to evolve into more of a vocal leader while still trying to figure out his teammates.
It's only natural to want to develop a personal comfort level with someone before you can really dig deep and hash out problems while staying on the same page. Only problem is, the Pacers don't have time for that, they need it now. So, T.J., Earl, Danny, someone, it's time to forget comfort levels and put the players on edge and impose your will on the team. Seriously, I can't handle another post game with quotes about just needing to take better care of the ball or until we give a better effort on defense we're going to struggle. Quit talking and do it!
After the jump, plenty of links with reports and video from practice, Granger's thoughts on leading the Pacers and J.O.'s almost giddy anticipation of returning to the Fieldhouse healthy for tonight's game:
PACERS: Pacers-Heat preview
Bruno previews the game with more on the good start from the Pacers' bench and another postive step for Tyler Hansbrough.
Ford, Rush still start
Mike Wells reports that T.J. Ford and Brandon Rush will remain in the starting lineup for the Pacers tonight against the Heat.
Pacers' Granger is an All-Star. He wants to become a winner.
Mike Wells goes in-depth with Danny Granger, discussing his desire to bring more wins to the Pacers.
Pacers: New Players Make Impact in Season Opener
The Indiana Pacers had a number of off season aquisitions in 2009, and many of those players had an immediate impact on the team in the Pacers' opener against Atlanta. Larry Hawley reports on the Pacers working past the opening loss in Atlanta.
Heat seeking first victory in Indiana since 2001
Ira Winderman figures the Miami Heat are due for a win at the Fieldhouse. The Heat have lost 14 in a row dating back to December 31, 2001.
NBA extends deadline for contract extensions and exercising options
With the end of the month falling on a Saturday, NBA clubs have until Monday to pick up third-year options for players entering their second NBA season. No reason to think the Pacers won't pick up the options for Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert.
Back to form?: Heat C O'Neal says he's feeling great, play so far shows it
"I'm pretty sure they'll get a heavy dosage of me," O'Neal said. Jermaine O'Neal sounds ready to play the Pacers after logging 22 and 12 in the Heat opener.
Miami Heat center Jermaine O'Neal flashes old form
Heat center Jermaine O'Neal isn't ready to declare himself back to his dominant form, but his performance in the regular-season opener proved he's on his way. But J.O. didn't feel his play was enough proof so he had to keep talking about himself.
A tease or the truth with Jermaine?
Ira Winderman weights in on J.O. You know it's been a rough go for O'Neal when a 22 and 12 game creates such a stir.
You’re killing me, Smalls
Austin Burton is looking for more from T.J. Ford at point guard for the Pacers.