The Atlantic Division is an interesting one as it looks like the Knicks are the prime time team in that division. They are three games up on the Nets right now and actually tied for first in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks also have two double digit wins against the Heat, which could mean something if those teams end up tied at the end of the season. The Nets look to be improved and are a team that took care of the Pacers when they last met. The Celtics are a team that who knows what might happen now that Rajon Rondo is out of the line up. There could be some changes for them in the coming weeks if they feel like they won’t be there for the playoffs. The Sixers are wondering why they got Andrew Bynum. And finally, the Raptors are hoping Rudy Gay can help them turn that corner into relevant.
Indiana Pacers vs New York Knicks
Series Tied 1-1
Oh the Knicks and Pacers, starting to feel like the old days with the way these teams have been playing. With a win by each team, it should be fun to watch the next two games, and who knows maybe they meet up in the playoffs? Wouldn’t that bring back some memories? The Knicks took care of the Pacers in New York, and really brought the hammer down on them as that score looked closer than it was. But the Pacers turned it around, and beat the Knicks at home a game after beating the Heat. Two great wins in a row that were both on national television. It is great exposure for a Pacers team that’s looking for that extra bit of recognition. The Knicks look to be the team to beat in this division, and could challenge for the Conference title with as well as they can play.
Indiana Pacers vs Brooklyn Nets
Nets Lead 1-0
I might have to start changing my tune on the Nets as I wasn’t a believer of them, but the way they played the Pacers is going to force me to give them a real look. It looks like Joe Johnson and Deron Williams are working well together, which could mean problems for teams that can’t guard a back court. The Pacers have problems with point guards like Williams, therefore, the Nets could give the Pacers some problems. David West had 27 points in the loss, and Roy Hibbert got outplayed by Brook Lopez. For the Pacers to come around and take out the Nets, Hibbert will have to play much better. Plus the Pacers can’t go on that offensive drought like they did in the first game. They put up 11 points in the fourth quarter, which is never going to help matters. Their defense should look to keep a leash on the Nets the next time out.
Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics
Celtics Lead 1-0
The Pacers get two more cracks at the Celtics, which is great because that first game against them, wasn’t pretty. Even getting Kevin Garnett ejected didn’t help this Pacers effort. They’ve struggled on Friday nights as they’ve lost three games on those days. Maybe they’re just looking forward to Saturday. But this past Pacers Celtics game wasn’t pretty. Getting outscored in that second quarter 32-19 wasn’t helping matters. Rajon Rondo is always a tough guard, but will be out the rest of the season, which will bode well for the Pacers. One less pesky guard to run around with. George Hill should look for an advantage there. Expect more of the physical play in the next battles, especially after that shot that Garnett gave to Tyler Hansbrough.
Indiana Pacers vs Philadelphia 76ers
Pacers Lead 1-0
The Pacers took care of business against the 76ers in the first meeting by outscoring in three of the four quarters. That’s a good sign your team is winning the game. Paul George did some work with 28 points to lead the way. I don’t think the Sixers will put up much of a fight come the next three meetings, unless the Pacers just collapse against them. George Hill got a triple double in this one, which is one of three by a Pacers player this season. Roy Hibbert gets 19 points and 13 rebounds to show one of his better games. Everything was clicking for the Pacers, and let’s see it happen more often.
Indiana Pacers vs Toronto Raptors
Series Tied 1-1
Well it says this series is tied 1-1, but what if I told you in a second game that one team allowed the other team just five points in a quarter, and lost? You wouldn’t believe it right? Well, this Pacers team did just that. They only allowed 5 points in the fourth quarter against the Raptors and lost by 2. Now this was way back in November, when the Pacers were still finding their way, so that’s a lame excuse, but still worth something. Both games have been decided by 2 points, but I’m not worried as a Pacers fan for this since the Raptors probably won’t be in the playoffs, so losing a series to them isn’t a huge deal. Wins would be nice because they help in the grand scheme of things. But ultimately a Raptors team with 17 wins currently isn’t much of a competitor to what the Pacers are doing.