If there’s a thing that the post season has taught us, it’s that this Indiana Pacers team wins when it controls the tempo of the game, and is able to play their own way. They can lock down on defense, slow down teams in transition, rebound the ball better, and score just enough to win the game. That’s the simple method of a Pacers win. But what we have seen is that this is inconsistent at times, and that’s the disheartening aspect of this Pacers team. Where is the consistency? Our friend here at Always Miller Time, Chris, explained out how the Pacers need to find that right formula every time out. And I couldn’t agree more, so you’re thinking why are you telling us this again?
Well, that goes to show that this Pacers team if on the right path each time out could contend with any team on any night. They should be mentioned up there in the “title contenders.” They should be getting press about how well they play the team game even when Paul George gets the All Star bid. I could almost compare it to another team here in Indy, the Butler Bulldogs. You’ve heard of the Butler Way, well I’m now letting the Pacers have their own “way”, Blue Collar Gold Swagger. When really looking at that phrase, there couldn’t be a better way to describe how the Pacers are. When they’re doing all that stuff that people find “boring” in a basketball game, the rebounding, defending, hustling to the ball, they are usually winning or right in the game. Just look at the first game of this New York Knicks series. What did everyone say? The Pacers out manned and out muscled the Knicks. They got them flustered with their play, and the Knicks couldn’t keep up with that. How many other teams right now could be considered in that vein of the Pacers? Maybe the Memphis Grizzlies, but for the most part, this Pacers team has that blue print down of what they need to do.
This also shows me that I shouldn’t be too worried after that horrible loss last night. Yes, it was a rout. Yes, the Knicks played up to their tempo of basketball. Yes, it was a bad bad bad run that saw the Pacers right in the game to completely out of the game. Yes, there should be some sort of panic from the team about that. But three days of rest and coming back to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse have me believing in Blue Collar Gold Swagger. We’ve seen how the Pacers are a different team on the home court. Sure, they need to learn how to properly play on the road. But when it comes down to it, how many road games would the Pacers HAVE to win on the way to a NBA Finals run? They got the road win in New York, and could end winning the two games in Indy if they play up to the level that we’ve seen at home. Then it’s up to the team to figure out how to win one out of the last three games if that’s needed.
This series is going to be an up and down one as we’ve seen, but the Pacers play their brand of basketball, and we’ll be playing about how they’re ready for the Conference Finals in no time. And that was the goal all along. It’s about that journey to the destination. Let’s all step off the bridge into Banker’s Life and cheer on the Blue and Gold to a big win come Saturday night.