Defensive strides being made
Defense is no longer a foreign language to the Pacers. They've gone away from wanting to get into a shootout with their opponent, to now not having a problem grinding it out to win a game.
The Pacers gave up 50 percent shooting in their 96-86 loss to Philadelphia on Monday, but they're still ranked in the top five in the league in points allowed and field goal defense. They'll face another challenge when they play the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
"I just know right before the playoffs (last season) we came together on the defensive end," guard Darren Collison said. "A team like Chicago that's extremely well on the defensive end, we saw how they're a unit. We want to be able to carry that over to ourselves. We carried it over to this season and everybody is committed to the defensive end."
The Pacers have given up at least 40 percent shooting in four of their nine games this season. Not surprising, they've lost three of those games.
"We just didn't flip the switch," forward Danny Granger said. "We just hadn't been playing at the capability that we have been able to in the past."
Vogel comes 'home' for visit
--Coach Frank Vogel gets asked about playing close to his hometown of Wildwood, N.J., every time the Pacers face the New Jersey Nets or New York Knicks. Vogel coached in what he considers his hometown -- Philadelphia -- as a coach for the first time on Monday. "I've played three times in New Jersey, I've played in New York, but I still haven't been a head coach in this building yet," Vogel said. "I've been in Boston a couple of times as a head coach. It's definitely surreal and something I've very much been looking forward to."
--Vogel believes the Pacers and 76ers are built the same way. Lots of talent, but no true superstar to carry the team. "It's a similar concept of not really having the quote, unquote true superstar and having a team approach and balance approach," Vogel said.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's still early in the season. Unfortunately we lost but there are a lot more games to go. A lot more games in a short period of time." -- Center Roy Hibbert
--C Roy Hibbert followed up his 20-point, eight-rebound performance against Charlotte by scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 31 minutes against Philadelphia.
--G Paul George struggled shooting the ball -- 4-of-16 -- and he also had problems holding onto the ball. George committed a team-high five turnovers during his 13-point performance.
--G Dahntay Jones, making his first start of the season, scored 12 points to go with three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 35 minutes.
--G George Hill missed the Philadelphia game with a sore lower back.
--F Danny Granger missed the Philadelphia game with a case of food poisoning.
--F Tyler Hansbrough left in the third quarter against Philadelphia after being scratched in the eye.