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Fresh Start For Pacers This Season

Last updated on Wednesday, October 3, 2007

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Training camp got underway for the Indiana Pacers Tuesday.

New head coach Jim O'Brien wants to run, which means plenty of running and conditioning drills in practice.

O'Brien said during Monday's "media day" that while players say they want to run the up-tempo system, they don't always realize the commitment to defense required and the conditioning required to run one hundred-percent of the time.

The Pacers enter this year's camp healthy with center Jeff Foster's sore back the only concern. Both Jermaine O'Neal and David Harrison have recovered from offseason surgeries while Marquis Daniels has recovered from the knee problem that cost him the final two months of last season. Daniels' first season in Indiana was marked by injuries that held him to just 45 games last season.

The Pacers will be looking for contributions from Daniels as well as continued progress from third-year forward Danny Granger as the team searches for someone to compliment the offense provided by all-star forward Jermaine O'Neal.

O'Neal is back despite rumors that he would prefer to spend his twelfth NBA season somewhere other than Indianapolis. O'Neal said on Monday that the additions of Stephen Graham, Kareem Rush and Andre Owens should give the Pacers an outside presence that was missing last season.

The Pacers open the preseason next Wednesday night against the New Orleans Hornets. The regular season begins on Halloween night at home against the Washington Wizards.

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