By A.Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON The Indiana Pacers have been a much-improved team since they replaced Jim O'Brien with then-Pacers assistant Frank Vogel.
Vogel, a former video coordinator for the Celtics, said shortly after getting the job how he wanted to his team to play similar to the Celtics -- minus the slew of Hall of Fame players, of course.
"I don't ever know what style we are," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "I just know there's a way you should play, and I believe that. When we do that, I think we are pretty good."
Rivers added, "all we're doing is emulating what the past, the older Celtics, used to do. We're just trying to play that way."
In other Celtics news, Rivers said Shaquille O'Neal participated in the team's shoot-around prior to Wednesday's game.
"Shaq shot today and felt pretty good," Rivers said. "I don't know what the time frame is (for his return). The fact that he's on the floor means sooner than later, I hope."
O'Neal has appeared in 36 games this season, and is averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached email@example.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn
Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.
Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game.
Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s.
With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.
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