Who are these guys?
Indiana Pacers fans watching the Bobcats game Friday night were witness to something that they haven’t seen in years: The Pacers getting a comeback road win in the second half. After trailing at halftime by eight points, the Pacers outscored the Bobcats in the third and fourth quarters, sealing their first win of the season, 104-101.
Danny Granger once again fueled the Pacers on the offensive end, as he finished with 33 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Roy Hibbert added 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and four blocks.
Tyler Hansbrough came off the bench to chip in 12 points for Indiana, and hit two clutch free throws with ten seconds left to give the Pacers a three-point lead. The crowd was booing him all night, but after winning North Carolina a National Championship in one of the best college careers for any individual, he was able to help his NBA team get a hard-earned victory back in NC.
The Pacers were out-rebounded by 11, and only shot 24 free throws compared to the Bobcats’ 45, yet they were still able to get the win. This was due in large part to the improvement on turnovers, as they only committed 10, after having more than 20 on Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Danny Granger hit six three pointers, as the Pacers shot the ball well from deep.
The defense was slightly improved from Wednesday night, and the ball movement looked very good at times. The Bobcats obviously aren’t the Spurs, but they are not a bad team at all.
A key defensive stop and clutch free throws at the end of the game are something Pacers fans are not used to seeing, especially on the road. Perhaps a change is on the horizon. Perhaps they are starting to turn the corner. Perhaps they have gotten that much better. Perhaps…it was just one game.
The Pacers will now return home with their 1-1 record after the first two road games. Both games were close, even though the final numbers don’t really show it for their opener against the Spurs. They will host the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night at Conseco Fieldhouse at 8 pm.
The 76ers are much like the Pacers in that they are both teams in transition, still rebuilding. Sixers star player Andre Iguodala will go up against his USA teammate from this summer, Danny Granger, as both stars will be looking to lead the way for their respective clubs.
The Pacers will continue to give valuable minutes to their first-round draft pick from this year, Paul George. The 76ers have a very nice young prospect of their own in Evan Turner. Turner should feel right at home at Conseco Fieldhouse. Last year he hit a near half-court shot against Michigan to win the Big 10 Tournament.
The former Ohio State standout and National Player of the year had a great game in his NBA debut with 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. In their loss to the Hawks on Friday night though, he failed to score in 19 minutes of action.
The Pacers can’t expect him to have that same performance tomorrow night. He is too talented.
With the win, the Pacers will have some added confidence as they prepare for tomorrow night’s game, as well as a potentially larger crowd. The Pacers still have some great seats available for the home opener tomorrow night. Even if you want to get the cheap seats, the ushers are usually pretty lenient when it comes to letting you move down.
The Colts aren’t playing until Monday night and there is no reason to watch any Indiana college football team play tomorrow. Come support the Pacers for their home opener. There is reason for optimism just a block away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Tags: Andre Iguodala Charlotte Bobcats College Basketball College Football Conseco Fieldhouse Danny Granger Evan Turner Indiana Pacers Indianapolis Colts Lucas Oil Stadium March Madness Michigan Wolverines NBA NCAA NCAA Basketball NCAA Football NCAA Tournament NFL North Carolina Tar Heels Ohio State Buckeyes Paul George Philadelphia 76ers Roy Hibbert San Antonio Spurs Tyler Hansbrough