The Indiana Pacers look to get revenge on the Milwaukee Bucks tonight on the road. They had the game throughout three quarters, but lost it all in the fourth when they last faced Milwaukee. They lost by a few points, and at home. Now they look to get revenge as Indy hopes to improve to 10-9 while the Bucks fall to 7-14.
The Bucks are coming off a 88-78 loss to the Miami Heat while Indiana came off a 124-100 rout of the Toronto Raptors, where Brandon Rush came up big. It took Indiana until the New Year to win ten games. But now, they got it way before that, even before Christmas!
“The good thing is, the guys in the locker room are not happy being 10-9,” coach Jim O’Brien said. “It’s good to have a winning record, but I think if you ask anyone in a Pacers uniform, if we had done the things that we did tonight on a regular basis, it would be a lot better than a game over .500.
“They’re starting to click. If they can continue to click in all phases then we’ll be a playoff team.”
When Rush was drafted, he was hoping to become one of the great players for the rebuilding plan. But Rush struggled in the first half of his rookie year, but then came up big in the second half. Many predicted a big season for Rush in 2009, but struggled with consistency throughout that year. He would be in trade rumors throughout the off-season and for this year. But now, Rush is playing like many thought, and has been averaging over 20 points per game in the past three games.
“Larry Bird said to him a couple weeks ago, ‘You’re playing like the guy I thought I drafted,'” O’Brien said. “He’s playing great. He’s playing really strong defense and scoring off the dribble.”
Danny Granger is playing like the All-Star from 2008, averaging over 21 points per game. He had 21 points over the Raptors after having a total of 22 in the previous two games. Granger is improving as well this season, not needing to average in high-20’s anymore thanks to Roy Hibbert, Rush, and Darren Collison. But he can still put up big numbers if he wants, like he did against the Sacramento Kings with 37 points.
“I’m not worried about where my shot is, it’s always going to be there,” Granger said. “It’s just a matter of what kind of shots I’m taking. I have to mix up how many (3-pointers) I’m taking, when I’m attacking, and different things like that.”
I expect Indiana to get revenge. Accu Score says the Pacers have a 43-percent chance to win compared to the Bucks’ 57-percent. But I think Indiana will play well. Close win or huge win, Indiana will win. They have to. And if Indiana wins and the Chicago Bulls lose…
Indiana has the Central Division lead.
Now think about that?