Pacers 121 – Nets 105
Three straight wins. Four straight home wins. Winners of five of eight since New Year’s. Could it be that the Pacers are on the verge of attaining something that has eluded them all season long: sustainability?
Still, easy wins like last night can cause you to get a little starry eyed – particularly when you’re so unused to them. And that was an easy win. Probably as easy as you’ll see this Pacers team get this season.
The Nets have two nice players in Brook Lopez and Devin Harris, but other than that, not much. I feel for the Nets’ fans. I really do. It’s been hard enough having to watch Indiana at times this year, I can’t imagine dealing with that level of futility. I guess they can console themselves with visions of John Wall dancing in their heads, but that seems like cold comfort to me.
A 24-5 run in the second quarter pretty much put this in the win column, and the Nets could never get closer than 16 in the second half. This is true despite the fact that New Jersey shot 39 FT’s and spent more than half of the game in the bonus.
It was a win on the road against a team that had taken half the season to win 3 games, so it’s not biggest accomplishment ever. However, Indiana had probably reached their quota for groundbreaking accomplishment with their back-to-back comeback this week. Regardless, it’s nice to see the Pacers do good when good is expected. It’s been too irregular of an experience this season.
Five Other Things
- Live by the Three - Through December 31st, the Pacers had shot under 32% from beyond the arc, which goes a long way towards explaining their 9-22 record at that point. In 2010, they’ve shot 39%, including 44% over the last five games.
- T-Murda - Troy Murphy hung 21 points and 14 rebounds on the Nets last night. Over the past 20 games, he’s averaged 16.5 points and 10.2 rebounds, while posting a ridiculous .611 eFG%. He’s sixth in the league year-to-date at eFG% at .584.
- Don’t Tease – I mentioned this in the last recap, but I think we’re finally starting to see the Danny we were all hoping for this year. Over the last three games, he’s averaged 28 points while shooting 49% from the floor. His shot selection has been much better, as evidenced by his 11-for-23 from beyond the arc. More importantly, he’s been playing the most complete basketball we’ve seen since last season. This Danny is a difference maker. Hope he’s here to stay.
- Class of 2008 – For one night, Pacer fans got what they hoped for out of their two sophomore players. Hibbert has been progressing nicely, and fairly stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 blocks. Rush, who has been considerably less encouraging, looked comfortable and confident while scoring 15 points on perfect shooting.
- Wear comfortable shoes – Jim O’Brien raised a few eyebrows by completing his natty ensemble with a pair of Adidas flip flops. Apparently, it was because of a broken toe. Regrettably, Tom Lewis, among others, beat me to the “ass-kicking” jokes. He was joined on the bench for most of the game by Luther Head, who rolled his ankle early in the contest. Head is questionable tonight, but there’s no word on whether Obie is going to coach tonight’s game in a bathrobe.
…And One More Thing
The Pacers host the Hornets tonight. The game has been moved up to 6:00 pm. It is unquestionably the undercard in Indianapolis, as the Colts host the Ravens in an AFC Playoff game at 8 pm. It should be an intimate gathering with just a few friends. Perhaps they should serve brie.
Empty Netter: By The Numbers
First thing after the movie, I’m buyin’ Pacer playoff tickets!