Pacers pick up second straight blowout win
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel leaned back against the ghost white walls inside the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., last month, his face still red and his voice filled with frustration after the Trail Blazers put on a passing clinic against them.
Vogel wanted his team to emulate that same type of unselfishness with the basketball.
Do that, combined with an already stingy defense, and the Pacers would have a chance to start moving up in the standings.
It took constant harping from Vogel and his assistants, but the message has finally sunk in for the Pacers.
The Pacers continued their offensive explosiveness when they beat the Detroit Pistons, 114-82, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday.
“That changed our whole season around,” Vogel said. “We didn’t share the ball and we got blown out.”
The coaching staff showed the players video of the Portland game in their next practice in Utah.
While the Trail Blazers moved the ball effectively, Vogel spent a lot of time wearing out the DVD remote showing the players a lot of selfish play.
Forcing up shots. Driving into traffic when a teammate was spotted up on the perimeter.
The Pacers have never been a selfish team, it was a matter of players trying to do too much to offset the loss of Danny Granger’s points in the lineup.
That style of play wasn’t cutting it. That’s why the Pacers have spent a significant amount of time near the bottom of the league in offensive production.
“When your offense is struggling and you have guys who can score the ball, the instincts is to help the team by going and scoring,” Vogel said. “Trying to score on two guys, leads to lower percentages.”
The Pacers still have some digging to do to get out of the bottom of the league in field-goal percentage (they are 28th) but there’s a sense they’re finally turning the corner.
The 32-point victory on Friday followed up a 34-point victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
The win, coupled with New York’s loss on Friday, moved the Pacers into the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers, who play the Pistons again tonight in … [For more on Indiana Pacers pick up second straight blowout win, click here.]