The Start of Training Camp and Emphasis on Defense

Sept. 28, 2021 - With the start of training camp, Coach Rick Carlisle speaks about the emphasis of defense this season as well as the ringing of the bell at practice.

Practice 210928

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The Start of Training Camp and Emphasis on Defense

Sept. 28, 2021 - With the start of training camp, Coach Rick Carlisle speaks about the emphasis of defense this season as well as the ringing of the bell at practice.
Sep 28, 2021  |  01:28

Bells Ring as Pacers Open Training Camp

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

The bell kept ringing at the first day of Pacers training camp on Tuesday. That's a good thing.

As the media filed into the Ascension St. Vincent Center for the end of Tuesday's practice, the players were taking part in shooting drills, a standard end to an NBA workout.

But as the players hoisted shots on the various baskets across the two practice courts, Jeremy Lamb made his way to the northeast corner of the gym and rang a bell that was recently installed on the wall. His teammates erupted in cheers.

Minutes later, rookie Chris Duarte, who was shooting on the basket closest to the bell, sprinted over and rang it several times enthusiastically.

Duarte was the first person to address the media on Tuesday, revealing the meaning behind the bell. Each player moves "around the world" taking five shots from five different spots behind the 3-point arc, a total of 25 shots. If a player makes 20 or more, they get to ring the bell. When Duarte was asked how many he made, he smiled.

"Twenty-two," said the 13th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, who shot 42.4 percent from 3-point range last year as a senior at Oregon.

The bell rang several more times over the course of the afternoon, including as head coach Rick Carlisle was discussing the thought behind it.

"Our 3-point shooting is something that's going to be an evolving aspect of our game," Carlisle said. "We've got some guys that are working to get more and more comfortable with it. This is a great drill because, you know, getting the bell is a big deal. Whoop, there it is again.

"Getting the bell is a big deal. That means you're shooting 80 percent on 25 threes, which is pretty darn good."

Carlisle couldn't remember the exact origin behind the drill, but implemented it in one of his first two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, whom he coached from 2008-21. He knew that other coaches also utilized it, including his former assistant Terry Stotts when he coached Portland from 2012-21.

"I like it," Pacers center Myles Turner said. "It gets guys just to focus on shooting a little bit more. When you incentivize things, especially something little like that, it's just kind of like a moral victory."

Carlisle's Mavericks teams featured a number of prolific shooters, including the likes of Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Dirk Nowitzki, who rank seventh, 11th, and 12th , respectively, in NBA history in career 3-pointers made.

"The bell was going off a lot back in those days," Carlisle said. "And it's been going off more and more here."

Caris LeVert

Photo Credit: Zach Hughes - Pacers.com

LeVert Misses Opening Practice

Carlisle said on Media Day he expected to have 18 players available for the start of training camp, with T.J. Warren (left foot stress fracture) and Edmond Sumner (torn left Achilles tendon) out indefinitely.

But another key player was unable to practice on Tuesday, as starting guard Caris LeVert sat out with a lower back injury.

LeVert said he had been feeling "slight discomfort" in his back off and on over the past couple months, but had been unrestricted prior to Monday, participating fully in workouts with his teammates last week.

But in consultation with the training staff, the team elected to do a CT scan, which revealed a potential diagnosis that has been reported elsewhere. Carlisle said the team is gathering additional input on the injury before setting a firm timeline on how long LeVert might be sidelined.

LeVert was able to shoot some at the end of Tuesday's practice and said he can also do conditioning work.

It was certainly disappointing news for LeVert, who averaged 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists over 35 games with the Pacers after being traded to Indiana midseason. But it is not nearly as severe as other prognoses LeVert has received throughout his career, especially last season, when a post-trade MRI revealed that he had renal cell carcinoma in his left kidney.

"This is pretty minor compared to all that I've been through," LeVert said. "It's something that isn't too major, but it's something that we need to pay attention to."

While LeVert and fellow projected starter Warren remain sidelined, Carlisle is weighing his options as to who could fill their spots in the starting lineup.

On Tuesday, Lamb and Justin Holiday practiced with the starters, logical choices as the two longest-tenured NBA veterans on the roster. Lamb has started 136 games over his nine-year career, while eight-year veteran Holiday has 220 career starts, including 52 of 72 games last season.

But the Pacers have additional options on the wing, including Duarte and Torrey Craig, who signed with Indiana in free agency.

"I'm not married to any one particular lineup," Carlisle said. "I think the ability to have lineup fluidity and (having) the players understand that starting lineups can be dictated by matchups is important. We talked a little bit about that last night."

2021 Media Day: Rick Carlisle

Sept. 27, 2021 - Rick Carlisle sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.

2021 Media Day

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2021 Media Day: Rick Carlisle

Sept. 27, 2021 - Rick Carlisle sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Sep 27, 2021  |  27:12

2021 Media Day: Kevin Pritchard

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2021 Media Day: Myles Turner

Sept. 27, 2021 - Myles Turner sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Sep 27, 2021  |  12:35

2021 Media Day: Malcolm Brogdon

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2021 Media Day: Domantas Sabonis

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Sep 27, 2021  |  04:35

2021 Media Day: Caris LeVert

Sept. 27, 2021 - Caris LeVert sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Sep 27, 2021  |  06:55

2021 Media Day: T.J. Warren

Sept. 27, 2021 - T.J. Warren sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Sep 27, 2021  |  04:53

2021 Media Day: Justin Holiday

Sept. 27, 2021 - Justin Holiday sits down with the media to discuss the upcoming season.
Sep 27, 2021  |  10:16

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