The Pacers kept the pedal to the metal in their second preseason win over the Bulls on Thursday night. With Chicago willing to run alongside the Pacers, the team’s played at a pace of nearly 113 possessions for a 48 minute game.
That’s fast and at times appeared too fast as the Pacers turned the ball over 20 times which the Bulls cashed in for 22 points. First half struggles handling the pick n’ roll defense also made for quick possessions by the visitors.
But at that pace, the game is prone to wild swings with no lead really safe. It was plenty entertaining but certainly not a free for all. The Pacers starters did improve their defensive effort after adjusting at halftime.
As Nate McMillan mentions in the podcast today, there is structure to the “madness” of pushing the pace and not calling out half-court sets each time down the floor. The key is developing a level of trust among the players and with the coach to stay on the attack and then slide into plays when needed.
The biggest burden for bringing that dynamic together lies with Jeff Teague, who struggled at times on Thursday. He hesitated a couple of times looking to find another player and attacked other times leading to a turnover. Building that trust and experience so Teague knows where to expect his teammates to be and they know what to expect from the point guard is the next step to make that fast pace an efficient and effective way to play.
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