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Training Camp 2012 Notebook: Week One

by Scott Agness

October 8, 2012

The Pacers wrapped up their first week of camp Saturday and had Sunday off for rest and recovery (per GM Kevin Pritchard's tweet Sunday).

So far, everybody has been healthy and practicing with the exception of Danny Granger. He continues to treat a tendon in his knee that flared up.

The team had practice Monday and will get after it once again Tuesday before heading to Fargo, North Dakota for their first preseason game on Wednesday against Minnesota.

NBA Implements Penalties for Flopping

Frank Vogel has been one of the more outspoken coaches about the recent on-court epidemic of flopping. Before the start of the Miami series in May, he blatantly called the Heat the "the biggest flopping team in the NBA."

When asked for his thoughts on the new rule, Vogel said with a grin, "What makes you think that I'd have a reaction to the flopping rules?"

Seriously, though.

"It's good for the image of the league. Flopping is not in the spirit of the game and if they can minimize it somehow, it's good for the league."

A player's first violation will result in a warning and thereafter will be subject to a $5,000 fine for his second offense, then $10,000 (3rd), $15,000 (4th), and $30,000 (5th). Should the flopping continue, discipline will be determined by the league.

"It's been talked for years and I just think between my comments and some of the other things that the other coaches were seeing and then what was happening around the league, I think it's just something they've been talking about for years and it's time to do something about it."

Wanted: Increased Ball Movement

Ball movement, running the floor and finding the open guy have been constants at training camp. Too often last season, there would be a drop when the second-unit came in and the ball would struggle to move. So far, that hasn't been the case and DJ Augustin is most responsible.

Augustin is a pass-first point guard who, in his short time with Indiana, has impressed teammates with his "handles" (as Hibbert put it) and his court vision. Lance Stephenson and Gerald Green are two others that Vogel singled out as athletic guys who will really push the pace, spread the court, and help on offense.

Hitting On Screens

Undoubtedly, the most memorable period during the first week (while media could watch) came mid-week with a new drill borrowed from Coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State: While wearing football shoulder pads, new assistant video coordinator Jhared Simpson set screens with the objective for the players to better simulate going off a screen and hearing the "bump" from hitting the pads. The exercise helps teach players to direct the defender in to the screen.

A Hall of Famer in the Building

I finally experienced the much-talked-about Mel Daniels handshake. Recently, Daniels has sat in on multiple practices as a guest of team president Donnie Walsh and I expect to see him around more often.

"This is where it started for me—one of the places that helped myself, Roger Brown, Bob Netolicky, Fred Lewis, George McGinnis and a whole host of other guys," Daniels told Pacers.com. "I feel comfortable here and it feels good to be back."

Daniels was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on September 7th, but had to miss the weekend of events due to a urinary tract infection.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime situation and to be ill at that particularly time was devastating. But I felt good that Reggie handled the situation very well."

Doherty Joins Staff

The Pacers have added a familiar name to their scouting department. Matt Doherty, a four-year starter with North Carolina from 1980-84, joins the team as a college scout. After serving as an assistant coach at Kansas for seven years, he was named head coach at Notre Dame in 1999.

The next year, the top spot opened up at his alma mater and Doherty held that position for three years. Most recently, he was the head coach at SMU for the last six seasons.

NBA TV Airs Practice

On Saturday, the Pacers hosted NBA TV to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Their broadcast aired live on NBA.com and was later cut into a piece better suited for television. Indiana getting chosen as one of the few teams highlighted is yet another indication of the progress the team has made.

"It is an honor to have them come in and take notice of what we're doing in training camp," Danny Granger said following practice Saturday. "It shows we're making the right steps."

"I think the league recognizes that we're one of the top teams in the league and we're a fun team too," said head coach Frank Vogel. "We've kind of got a ‘Have fun' mentality, a likeable bunch of guys, and its being noticed. It's good."

The All-Access look at the team, including Coach Vogel, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert mic'd up along with other various interviews, re-airs Monday at 5:30 p.m. on NBA TV. Austin Croshere, who regularly appears on Pacers radio and television broadcasts, served as analyst.

Quotable: Coach Vogel

"We have extremely unselfish guys on our team. And hard-working guys that fit in with our identity of being a selfless passing team, blue-collar work ethic type of team that knows we've got to win with defense and rebounding."

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