The Indiana Pacers ranked third in the NBA in points allowed per 100 possessions last season.
In order to maintain their continuity despite firing Frank Vogel, the Pacers kept their defensive coordinator Dan Burke. Burke is entering his 20th season with the Pacers, which makes him the longest tenured assistant with the same team in the NBA. Burke receive interest this offseason from a number of rival teams, including the Orlando Magic when Vogel ended up getting their head coaching job.
The Pacers hope to maintain their excellent defense while playing at a faster pace and also losing George Hill at point guard for Jeff Teague.
“I just go from year to year,” he said. “When people would say, ‘Wow, it’s your 10th year,’ I used to joke, ‘Yeah, I’m tricking them.’ Now, I’m thinking Larry is just trying to wait until I get it right.
"To me, it’s a job I love. It worked out well. It doesn’t seem like 20 because I just love every minute of it.”
“Dick Harter is the best defensive coach I’ve seen in this league,” Larry Bird said in September of Burke's mentor. “Nobody can replace Dick. But (Dan) is very similar and he demands guys to play hard on the defensive end. You’ve got to win with your defense, and Dan’s proven that over the years his defenses get things done. A few years ago, when we were winning and getting to the Eastern Conference finals, we were guarding people and that’s what we've got to do. I’m not saying Frank (Vogel) didn’t have something to do with that neither, but Dan’s always been my guy and I hope he’s here forever.”