What once was frustration and disappointment over a defense that personified a team too often lacking intensity in general has been replaced by pride.
The Lakers have held each of their last four opponents to 96 points or less and the last two to 81 and 89.
Even more significantly, the Pacers were No. 5 in the league in shooting at the start of play Wednesday, just before they managed only 36% at Market Square Arena. That came a night after the Bucks, at No. 6, shot 37.6% in Milwaukee.
Of course, it came at the same time the Lakers scored 98 and 96 points.
"I try to give the players as much freedom as possible on offense and to be exciting," Coach Del Harris said. "I don't want to eliminate all of Showtime, but we had to gear it back a little. It's been costing us defensively."
The payback has come in other areas:
The Lakers beat the Bucks.
The Lakers beat the Pacers.
"Offensively, we're toning it down a little bit," Kobe Bryant said. "We're trying to get the most out of every possession. It's almost like we're playing defense with our offense, but it's working."