Game Night: The Buck Stops Here (And I Plan My Headline-Writing Pulitzer Acceptance Speech)

Sometimes you really need a win. Other times you really really need a win. Maybe once or twice a season you desperately need a win. That’s where the Pacers are right now. They’re only 3-5 and the Central Division remains non-threatening. So “desperately” may be overstating things. But a quote from coach Frank Vogel before last night’s game against the Raptors highlights why playing some good hoops in early-season games, if not overwhelming meaningful in a standings perspective, do mean something. “Everything we do has got to be about building confidence,” said Vogel.

Right now, the 15 guys in Indiana’s lockerroom have almost nothing to hang their hats on. They stole a win from the Raptors in their season opener, they eeked out a victory in double overtime against the woeful Kings, and they snuck by the even-more-woeful Wizards team despite playing a gross second half of basketball. That’s it. Almost everything else that has happened this season stinks. And these guys know that even those “victories” stunk, too.

Beating the Bucks, even in Milwaukee, won’t change any of that. But it will at least distance them from the rank odor that has been trailing them from arena to arena like Pig Pen so far this year.

The ball goes up at 8:00 on Fox Sports Indiana.

Starters

George Hill Brandon Jennings

PG

Lance Stephenson Monta Ellis

SG

Paul George Tobias Harris

SF

David West Ersan Ilyasova

PF

Roy Hibbert Samuel Dalembert

C

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