Bruce Brown reveals ‘huge emphasis’ of first Pacers practice of season

Indiana Pacers, Bruce Brown
Indiana Pacers, Bruce Brown /

It’s go time for the Indiana Pacers, who will be looking to make it back to the playoffs this year for the first time since 2020, and this time, with a new-look team, that includes new signee Bruce Brown, leading the way.

Obviously, Tyrese Haliburton is the head of the snake, followed by guys like Myles Turner and Bennedict Mathurin, but the Pacers need to make it a point to focus on the strategy just as much as the players themselves.

Rick Carlisle opened up the season at Media Day by letting the whole world know how hard Pacers training camp would be, and the first stories from practice tell the same tale.

Bruce Brown reveals defense was a ‘huge emphasis’ of first Indiana Pacers practice of season

New Indiana guard Bruce Brown revealed that the team’s first practice had a “huge emphasis” on defense, which will be an important area of development for the Pacers this season. (H/t Wheat Hotchkiss of

Indiana ranked 26th in defensive rating last year (113.8), and if they want to get back into the postseason, that won’t be good enough. They’ll need to make a major leap in that category.

With Turner holding down the fort in the paint, the Pacers’ new summer additions should be a huge help on the defensive end, especially on the perimeter.

Brown was a stellar defender during his time with the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets, but more importantly, he was a very versatile defender, which will be crucial to the Pacers’ success.

Jarace Walker is also a plus defender, but as a rookie, it could take some time for him to get used to NBA-level play. However, he’s a big body that the Pacers can throw around on the defensive end.

Even guys who will be returning like Aaron Nesmith, Andrew Nembhard, and Isaiah Jackson can look to improve on the defensive end, as they are already solid on that side of the ball.

All that said, the Pacers will need to improve across the board on the defensive end if they want to significantly improve on that side of the court. Everyone will have to buy in.

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And if they can do that, and the defense improves because of it, the Pacers could be a good bet to sneakily climb up the standings in the Eastern Conference.