The difference between what we saw Wednesday night in Orlando’s 92-74 win over Indiana and what we’ll see on Saturday is the difference between your average 10-year-old or Derrick Rose leading a fast break. No contest. The Pacers took this opportunity to rest Danny Granger and Jeff Foster and did not play Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison in the second half. It’s impossible to analyze what just took place, other than to say it was another double-digit loss in a regular season that had far too many games that ended that way.
It was as brutal to watch as an NFL preseason game. Let’s just say that the highlight of the game for me was the television clip of Byron Scott’s game winning three-point shot to beat Shaq and the Magic in the 1994 playoffs, leading the Pacers to their first-ever NBA playoff series win 3-0 over Orlando. It was that game that kicked off an amazing playoff run of success that lasted more than a decade for the blue and gold.
Now it’s on to the Chicago Bulls and a 1 p.m. start on Saturday in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Are the Pacers ready for the kind of scrutiny they are about to receive? The upcoming series is all about the Bulls and their ability to live up to their lofty status as the number one seed. The Pacers have too often seen their confidence wane when the going has gotten tough this season. There will be no tougher environment than the United Center this weekend.
This will be an interesting test for the Pacers. On paper the Bulls have a big advantage in both talent and coaching.
Will the Pacers find a way to compete?
I hope so.