Jan 22, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard George Hill (3) makes a pass down court after a 3-point shot in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana Pacers at Los Angeles Lakers Game Preview

Indiana Pacers (6-8) at Los Angeles Lakers  (7-7)

It’s going to be a late night here for local Indiana Pacer fans as the team battles the Los Angeles Lakers this evening.  There’s word that Kobe Bryant is a game time decision, so perhaps the task gets a bit easier tonight.  But there’s little no doubt the Lakers will come out firing, and the Pacers need to bring their best effort if they want to continue the small two game winning streak they have out at the Staples Center.

Indiana has had three days off to prepare for this match up and those extra practice times should help, especially with the battle between Roy Hibbert and Dwight Howard.  Two excellent center players who want to one up each other.  Roy Hibbert got the better of the Orlando Magic when Howard was out last season in the playoffs, so it will be something to watch how Hibbert responds to playing against Howard now.

With Steve Nash and Steve Blake out for the Lakers, the point guard position might be the best position for the Pacers to take advantage of.  George Hill should look to be aggressive with his shot against Darius Morris, who is in his first year with the Lakers.  Hill might be able to get good looks against Morris, and I hope the Pacers look for something in that area.

It’s going to be a tough game for the Pacers, but getting a win would be a great boost to this four game road trip.  Perhaps it could be that catalyst to get this team driving somewhere, and not in the figure it out mode.  It’s a long season, but it would be great to finally start showing what this Pacers team can do this season.  There’s no time like the present against what figures to be a contending NBA Finals team in the Lakers.  If the Pacers get their game together, there’s a great shot at upsetting the Lakers, and moving closer to that division lead in the Central Division.

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