Indiana Pacers (31-21)
Charlotte Bobcats (12-39)
The Indiana Pacers get another chance to take care of business before the All Star Break. It will be a much needed break for this team as they’ve played some tough physical games, so I imagine the time away can help get the focus back. But going into the break with a win would be ideal for this Pacers team, and what better way to do it at home against a team that they should beat. They’ve lost one game to the Bobcats this season, but have generally dominated this series. There’s no Danny Granger tonight as he should be back next week, and probably better to wait for the break to come and go for him to give you all he has coming back. David West is being talked about being rested, which is probably due for him playing such a big role for the team. If anyone on the Pacers needs that extra game off, it’s West as he’s been the backbone for the team.
What can the Pacers do this evening to win the game and go into the break on the upswing?
- This Pacers team needs to come out with some fire and put their foot on the pedal. They never seem to start that many games really on fire, and I think tonight would be great to do that. They could get a double digit lead and keep it there to give the starters some rest in the end. Give some bench guys more playing time, and let them really work with each other. This should be one of those wall to wall win for the Pacers, but they have to start out the game the right way.
- Just as important to start the game right, it’s important to finish the game right. The Pacers have had two losses in which they lost the lead in the fourth quarter, late in that quarter. Tonight, there should be no reason the Pacers have to scramble to hold a lead. They should finish up strong in the fourth quarter, and not look back as a game they should have on.
- Paul George needs to bounce back from the poor shooting and five point performance. This is a good thing in a way, when more is expected out of him. Just as David West has been so strong for the team, so has Paul George. It’s expected anymore that George will hit for double figures. The fact that he didn’t hit for that should be motivation to come out with some extra fire tonight to get him ready for the All Star game. He’ll have a busy weekend with the three point contest and the All Star Game on Sunday.