The Indiana Pacers were recently coming off a very disappointing loss to the Houston Rockets. Easily one of the worst teams in the league, the Pacers lost 102-99 and now stand at a 3-4 record. Now they will face the 4-4 Cleveland Cavaliers on the road in Quicken Loans Arena.
The Pacers have had a history of struggling versus the Cavaliers for almost the past decade. But, however, Indiana gets a good shot at winning. Why?
LeBron James isn’t there anymore.
The Cavs, however, have been doing solid without their superstar. They now hold first place in the division with the Chicago Bulls. Indiana isn’t much behind, and with a win, they can take a lead in the division with a .500 record once again.
But there is one key to winning, and that is if Danny Granger can step it up. Against the Denver Nuggets and the Rockets, he couldn’t score all that much, having 19 points and 17 points. For success, Granger will need to produce more.
Actually, the same goes for a lot of other players, more importantly Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison. Both struggled last night, and they need to get back to their old forms tonight if they want to win. They need to stop J.J. Hickson and Antwan Jamison, the two big men.
The Cavs key to winning is getting points in the paint. They haven’t been all that good at home this season, having pressure put on top of them.
“When we’re on the road, it’s a little bit more of that ‘us-against-the-world’ attitude, and we go out there and we’re a little more free and we play with that type of attitude,” first-year coach Byron Scott told the Cavaliers’ official website. “But when we’re at home, we probably put too much pressure on ourselves to go out there and perform.
“We just need to relax and play the way we know we’re capable of playing.”
The Pacers need to roll. They can’t struggle like they did against Houston.
“We never got into our tempo or our rhythm,” guard Mike Dunleavy said. “We had a lot of breakdowns on both sides of the ball.”
I expect a win for the Pacers, despite AccuScore saying the Pacers have only a 27-percent chance of winning to the Cavs’ 63. I hope there is a win, and there better be a win.
Come on Indy. Make this season different.