Only one week of group training has needed Rick Carlisle to share his first impressions of the team’s work. The new Indiana Pacers coach noted that the first week of training camp It has been very productive and that “collective effort and involvement” has generated in a climate of optimism.
As collected journalist Scott Agnes, Carlisle has chosen to return to the basics to work on concepts of the game, including defensive principles and attack schemes, with a special focus on shooting. Important detail this last point: the head coach has insisted that all players develop a solid outside pitch.
However, the main teaching pillar of the coach has been defensive performance. “We have shared that this is an area of great importance,” Carlisle stated. “Everywhere I’ve worked as a head coach, I’ve learned that the first thing to improve is defense. So it was in Detroit and during my first time in Indiana. “
In both organizations its impact was immediate. Carlisle led the Pistons from 32 wins to 50 in 2001. And in 2004, the Pacers reached the Conference Finals after scoring 61 wins in regular season, thirteen more than the previous year.
The truth is that defense was the aspect of the game in which the Pacers faltered the most last season compared to 2019-20. They received 111.9 points for every hundred possessions when a year earlier they had emerged as the sixth best defender (107.5). In addition, they ended the 2020-21 season in the NBA well in points received in the paint (53.8) and after a second chance (15.3). «When we defended well we had the opportunity to win. And we have to regain that defensive identity, “said President of Operations Kevin Pritchard.
Based on this premise, then, we understand the movements made by the Pacers during the offseason. Despite not having stimulated the market much, the incorporations of Torrey Craig, Chris Duarte and Isaiah Jackson respond to this need to strengthen the rear.
“We’ve brought in guys who have that DNA,” Carlisle said. “Hard play is a very important part of success in our league. I think everyone knows it, but we have gone in that direction with the guys we have brought. “
(Cover photo by David Berding / Getty Images)