Dec 31 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) guards Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers 88 Memphis Grizzlies 83

Indiana Pacers  (18-13)  88

Memphis Grizzlies  (19-9)  83

The Indiana Pacers will end 2012 on a high note, and can start the new year in first place in the Central Division.   Not too bad for a team that started out of the gate at 3-6 and didn’t looking to be going in that direction everyone expected.  Even today’s game provided a hole that the Pacers had to dig out of.  The Grizzlies played well as could be for about three quarters and have a double digit lead that it looked like the Pacers couldn’t recover from.

But they turned it on, and really rallied behind one another for this win. I think it starts with the fact that George Hill sat out the game, and D.J. Augustin looked like the back up point guard that we fans have expected to see.  He ends up putting together 17 points with some big free throws down the stretch. I know it’s one game, but the Pacers might want to look at putting him in the starting line up and moving Hill over to the shooting guard position, where he’s been much more comfortable.  But that’s just a thought and who knows if it would be carried out.

Roy Hibbert rebounded a bit better from his last outing as he was able to get some points when need be.  But still looks like he’s fighting something and who knows what the cause is. That second half, he did look much more active, and he was going against Marc Gasol, one of the top centers in the Western Conference, so Hibbert was in for a battle.  Hibbert ends up with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 blocks.  Much more active than the Atlanta game.  This is where Hibbert needs to be at every night to help the Pacers get a win.

Paul George looked ready to shoot the ball as he went off for 21 points.  David West continues his productivity with 13 points and 9 rebounds.  This was just that physical type of game that I knew the Grizzlies and Pacers could get.  It felt like a playoff type game, and I thought that these would be a fun NBA Finals series to watch. Who knows if anyone else would watch? But the fans in Memphis and Indiana would get a kick out of it.

Now the Pacers can start the new year where they thought they would be, first place, and get Washington coming to town on Wednesday. Just a team they can beat and get more momentum going in this season.

Tags: Indiana Pacers Memphis Grizzlies

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