Even though the Pacers a had the rough loss last night due to a bad bad bad fourth quarter, it’s not all doom and gloom this week. They are still sitting in first place in the Central Division. Still sitting in third place overall in the Eastern Conference. Only 2.5 games back of Miami. Even one step further, and you can see the Pacers with the 8th best record in the league. If you want to gauge from last season, the Pacers finished with the third best record in the East, and right near the top of overall records. So far this season, they’re right on pace with last season. Add in the fact that they’ve got the top defense and this team has that chance to still be an elite team that probably won’t get the recognition of that.
Looking at this week, the Pacers have games against the Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, and Houston Rockets on Friday. Already beaten the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday, it’s very easy to predict a win against the lowly Bobcats. This time around, the Pacers travel to Charlotte, where Tyler Hansbrough always seems to come through. Must be the whole playing in his college state of North Carolina that gets him going. Also, the Pacers will have Paul George around for this game as he missed the last one. We’ve seen the emergence of Paul George over the past month and a half, and it’s easy to believe he’ll have his legs under him after coming back last night against the Nets.
Then the Pacers will travel to Orlando, where they’ll visit the Magic for the first time this season. The Magic aren’t anywhere near last year’s squad with the departure of Dwight Howard, and they’re sitting with a record of 13-23. That doesn’t strike fear in the hearts of teams playing them. They were able to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, but that was after a 10 game losing streak. They look to continue their winning ways against the Wizards, who just might be the worst team in the league. So it could be a two game winning streak for the Magic when the Pacers come to town. Still believe the Pacers would be favored and should win that game.
So putting the Pacers at 2-0 with a game on Friday against the Houston Rockets at home. The Pacers have a 10 game home winning streak, and have only lost three times at home. Talk about feeling the friendly confines of Banker’s Life Field House. The Pacers will be in for a battle with the Rockets, but still feel like they could be the better team. The thing that scares me about the Rockets and Pacers game is James Harden. Here’s a guy average 26 points, and the Pacers still struggle with those scoring types. I think it would be a great time for Paul George to show his continued improvement on defense, and I would let him hold his own against Harden. That should be the fun game of the week to watch. Quite a playoff like atmosphere.
So fret not about one loss for the team as they’ve put together such a great couple of months of play. This Pacers team should bounce back right away from the Brooklyn game, and when it comes time to play those Nets again, I expect a different result.