After jumping from a solid a 2-1 start, the Indiana Pacers have gone an 0-2 run ever since. Now they plan to bounce back against the Denver Nuggets at home tonight in Conseco Fieldhouse. The Nuggets have also been struggling, recently coming off a heartbreaking three-point to the Chicago Bulls, despite their top-scorer in Carmelo Anthony scoring a season-high 32 points in the match-up.
The Pacers have been struggling in the last two games, showing no offense at all. In the Philadelphia 76ers came, they couldn’t do anything as they lost 101-75. It got worse against the Milwaukee Bucks. After taking control for three straight quarters, Indiana lost it all in the fourth and went for a close loss, which was more suffering than getting destroying by Philly.
Now against the Nuggets, the Pacers need to pay extra attention to what they are dealing with. ESPN AccuScore predicts the Pacers having a 57-percent chance of winning this game and the Nuggets having a 43-percent chance. The Pacers seem to be a lot better at the Fieldhouse, and I plan to see them taking over the Nuggets, despite the team is 4-3 compared to Indy’s 2-3 record.
Don’t be surprised if the Pacers win. In the most recent match-up these two teams had, which was nearly a year ago, the Nuggets went on a run to win, 111-93, led by Carmelo Anthony’s 25 points and Chauncey Billups’ 24. Nene will be back for this game, and he scored 16 points and 13 rebounds when he last faced the Pacers.
Anthony has been on a roll again the Pacers, scoring about 29 points a game all-time versus Indy and about 28 at Conseco Fieldhouse. But with a lot more improved Danny Granger, the Pacers could tame Melo and the Nuggets’ striving offense.
Darren Collison is going to be a step quicker than the experienced Billups, but I see a pretty solid match-up between these two. I really hope Brandon Rush, who has retained his role at starter after serving a five-game suspension, can shutdown J.R. Smith and the other pairs of Denver’s shooting guards. With Mike Dunleavy struggling, Rush hopes to bring a big raise-up to the Pacers defense. Rush has showed improving consistency in the off-season. Rush will definitely bring a spark, and with his solid youth he brings to the table.
Granger really wants a win badly for the Pacers after struggles in the last two games.
“Tempo has been down for the last couple of games, and that is not the way we play,” forward Danny Granger told the team’s official website. “We have to improve on the turnovers, shoot the ball better and get our shots to drop.”
As I said before, I see a good game for Rush. Jim O’Brien seems to agree.
“I’m expecting him to play well,” coach Jim O’Brien told the team’s website. “He played in preseason and there were some games he did a great job.”
Alas, I see a win for Indiana