Indiana Pacers (26-17)
Utah Jazz (23-20)
This is one the Pacers have to get tonight. The Jazz are coming off playing last night against the Lakers, and on the losing end. The Pacers have had a couple of days off since that bad loss to the Blazers, which they allowed way too many good shots by the Blazers. Time to rev up the defense against the Jazz, and show that they’re ready to be in control of the Central Division. They dropped to .5 back of the Chicago Bulls and drop to 5th in the Eastern Conference. It goes to show how a win or loss can really hurt in the standings.
If the Pacers want to win tonight, they’ll need to do some of the same things they did when they handled the Jazz in Indiana. They were able to control the paint and get points down there. I would look for Roy Hibbert to get some touches, and get him going against the Jazz. David West should look to be a big scoring option as well with the success of the post presence last game out.
Paul George should be able to continue his All Star play that was solidified with an All Star selection on Thursday night. No time to sit back and enjoy that as the Pacers will need his best tonight. Come All Star break, George can sit back and enjoy that. But tonight’s it’s time to step up the game, and get the Pacers to that victory.
It probably won’t be as easy as last game against Utah, as the Pacers have really had troubles out there on the road. They’ve allowed 106 while playing out in Utah. That can’t happen tonight as the Pacers hardly score 100 points. They’ll need to keep it down below 90 to get that defensive prowess back. I think the Pacers come out and get the win in this one. Then get ready for the tough game against Denver.