Pacers aim for improved shooting against 76ers

INDIANAPOLIS — The INDIANA Pacers were the 11th-best free-throw
shooting team in the NBA at 77.9 percent last season.

In the first 11 games, that figure has dropped dramatically to 70.4
percent, the third-worst shooting percentage in the conference.

“We’ve just gotta step up and make them, not overthink it,” Pacers
guard Victor Oladipo said. “Just relax and take our time and do
what’ve been doing all our lives honestly, and that’s make free
throws. We’ve just gotta work on it. I think it’s all mental.”

The Pacers (7-4) will look for an improved foul shooting showing
when it hosts Philadelphia (6-5) Wednesday night.

Both teams are coming off losses. The Pacers lost to visiting
Houston 98-94 on Monday night and the 76ers lost to Brooklyn 122-97
on Sunday night

McMillan said the only solution is even more practice time on the
free throws.

“We want to be the aggressors and get to the free-throw line, and
we leave 10 free throws (20-of-30) out there (Monday night),”
McMillan said. “We’re a much better free-throw shooting team than
that. We just have to continue to work at it, take a deep breath
and knock them down.”

Pacers point guard Darren Collison said the players must work
harder in gym.

“Good free-throw shooters like myself and all the guards, it’s
inexcusable to miss that many free throws,” Collison said.

Oladipo said the team gave itself a chance to win despite the
missed free throws.

“We’ll move onto the next day, learn from this one, and get ready
for Wednesday,” Oladipo said.

Collison said the team has to be more mentally strong down the
stretch.

“We kind of let plays get behind us and we didn’t execute the way
we wanted to execute,” Collison said.

McMillan wants a faster pace.

“I thought we were taking too much time getting the ball up the
floor and getting into our sets,” McMillan said.

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown was upset with his team’s overall
showing in the 25-point loss at Brooklyn. Brown called the
performance unacceptable.

“In general, it was a poor performance that was unexpected and
nobody is going to overreact to it, but that’s the lay of the
land,” Brown said. “That’s what happened. That’s the way I see it.”

A major problem was a season-high 27 turnovers.

“Too many turnovers early,” said Sixers point guard Ben Simmons,
who committed five turnovers. “I’m thinking about it too much,
overthinking that’s one of the things. But I know I can lower that.”

Simmons agreed with Brown that the performance was unacceptable.

“I don’t know if it’s a mental thing, toughness thing or just
something we really need to point out,” he said. “Let everybody
what we need to do on the floor.”

Joel Embiid leads the Sixers with 28.4 scoring average. JJ Redick
is averaging 17.9 points.

“We need more from others,” Brown told the team website. “Everybody
is aware of it.”

Simmons scored 20 points against Brooklyn to raise his scoring
average to 13.9.

Brown is pleased with the number of assists.

“I think we do a good job of continuing to share the ball,” he said.

Philadelphia starting forward Robert Covington, who has averaged
11.5 points in all 11 games, is listed as questionable for
Wednesday night’s game with lower back soreness.

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