If the old cliché holds true and defense wins championships, the Pacers would likely have hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy last season. Although that didn't come to fruition, the Pacers still saw success in coach Frank Vogel's third season at the helm, as he led them to their first division title since the 2003-04 season. Their success carried over to the playoffs, where the Pacers capped their season off with an impressive run, taking LeBron James and the Heat to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Defensive play was key to their run, just as it had been to their success in the regular season. In the 2012-13 season, the Pacers led the league in defensive field goal percentage (42 percent), perimeter defense (32.7 percent) and points per shot (1.10). If they are going to sustain the success they achieved over the past few years, defensive play will once again be the primary factor.
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