Two games into the month of February and the Pacers have earned two wins. Two wins against the better Eastern Conference teams. It started on Friday night with the complete control of the Miami Heat. The Pacers have taken care of the Heat twice already, and now if that translates into the playoffs, look out.
The other team that the Pacers have been able to handle is the Chicago Bulls. Two wins against a team that they’ll be fighting for division control with. Two games that have looked entirely different. The first game it was first team to 80 points win as the Pacers put up 80 points and get out with a 4 point win in Chicago. Last night, the Pacers shot as well as they could and get the 111-101 win. One of the higher point totals this Pacers team has put up.
Now we look ahead at what’s on the horizon for the Pacers. You see plenty of home games as the schedule is favorable in that regard. The Pacers will host the Atlanta Hawks tonight. Then, they head out to Philadelphia for a game with the 76ers, who haven’t had the season they expected. But come Friday night, the Pacers have five straight home games. There could be some up and down games in that home stretch. You have Toronto, Charlotte, and Detroit in that stretch. That should be three expected wins.
The other two games are against the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. The Nets proved to be too much against the Pacers in that first meeting. Deron Williams was his usual self going out with 22 points. He’s always a tough cover for the Blue and Gold, so they will have to have some answer for him. Putting up 11 points in that fourth quarter didn’t help the game at all either for the Pacers.
The Knicks have had a couple of games against the Pacers with the teams splitting. Both teams took care of business on their home floor, so a Pacers win could come about thanks to the home cooking. But still if Carmelo Anthony is playing at the level he’s been playing, look out. Also, he didn’t play in the last game against the Pacers, so I would look for him to come out and be aggressive as he’s a tough cover for David West.
The Pacers will travel to Detroit after the home date with the Pistons, so I’m not worried about that game. Then there’s a couple of games with the West coast teams in Golden State and Los Angeles. Clippers that is. Those games should be fun ones to watch. Golden State has been quite the surprise this season, and they are one of the better Western Conference teams. Plus they took care of the Pacers in their home arena, where it’s always tough to play. Look for the Pacers to want that game a bit more to get something back.
The Clippers are a tough team as well, and are doing so well, that the Lakers are still the team that people talk about. It’s the same old same old Clippers are the other L.A. team. They are competing hard for the division and actually lead that division right now. They could even sneak into the top of the Western Conference as they sit in 3rd place. About 5 games out of first, but still within striking distance, and could be even closer come the end of February, when the Pacers play them.
This should still be a tough month to get through as we enter the All Star break, and just the lull of February, but with the home court being such an advantage for the Pacers, I think they’ll end up with a great month. With only a few possible losses, this could be that month that really helps the playoff push come next month. I’ll go out and say 9-3 should be the record for this month of February. That might be lofty with some of the better teams the Pacers are playing. But with the way things are clicking, I like the chances for it.