Dec 04, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) shoots the ball against Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler (21) during second half at the United Center. Indiana defeats Chicago 80-76. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers vs Central Division Opponents

It is Super Bowl Sunday, but we here at Always Miller Time aren’t resting away, and sitting back to enjoy that yet.  We are going to look at how the Pacers are performing versus their divisional opponents.  They play a big game tomorrow night against the Chicago Bulls, which was rescheduled from a postponed date after Christmas.  The NBA decided at 4:30 for an 7:00 tip off on December 26th that the Pacers and Bulls shouldn’t play that evening due to bad weather.  Then the NBA decided, so let’s put that game on February 4th and the Pacers will have to play three games back to back to back. No big deal right?  Well two games against tough opponents, and then a game in Philly to end it.  This will be a fun stretch to see how the Pacers perform after that big win on Friday night.

Ultimately, this Central Division will be about the Pacers and the Bulls, so getting a leg up on the division and having a great divisional record is important.  The Pacers took care of the Bulls already once this season, and hope to do that again tomorrow night.  But how does the rest of the division perform against our Blue and Gold?

Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls

Pacers Lead 1-0

This is the Paul George Break Through game.  It came after his goose egg in the score column, and he ended up with 34 points against the Bulls up in Chicago. He was making all kinds of different shots, and I think he really carried the Pacers to the win. It got them to even record wise, and helped get that pivotal division win for the team.  The Pacers will look for that magic again tomorrow, and I believe it will help this game is back home in Indy.  17-3 at home is a great record, and another win would help get the Pacers right back atop of the division.  Even better, they could be another game closer to a top spot in the Eastern Conference as right now they’re only 3 games back with New York and Miami tied for the Conference lead.  How awesome would it be to see Frank Vogel coaching up the Eastern Conference All Star team?

Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks

Jan 5, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers power forward Tyler Hansbrough (50) drives to the basket against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers won 95-80. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Bucks Lead 2-1

There’s one team that’s handed the Pacers their 2 divisional losses, and that’s the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Bucks got the best of the Pacers both games in Milwaukee, but back home, the Pacers got a double figures win against them.  Go Figure.  Who knows what might happen in that final game, but it would be great for the Pacers to avenge both losses, and end up with this series tied?  Right now the Bucks are sitting at 7th in the Eastern Conference, so the Pacers wouldn’t play them in the first round, which could be tough with the way these teams play each other.  It would be a fun playoff match up, but one that would have me leery as a Pacers fan. I don’t think it would be a slam dunk win for the home team here, so the Pacers need to look to probably not play them in the playoffs.

Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers

Dec 21, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) drives the lane past Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Daniel Gibson (1) in the third quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Pacers Lead 2-0

I thought the Cavaliers would be a much better team than they’ve shown.  But this year, they’re sitting at the bottom of the division, and don’t look like a threat anytime soon.  The Pacers have handled the Cavs in two meetings this season.  Both of the wins came by double figures.  In the first meeting, the Pacers even had to come back from 16 points down and win by 15 points thanks to a defensive third quarter that saw the home team only allow 12 points.  C.J. Miles even had 28 points for the Cavs, but that wasn’t enough.  Kyrie Irving is still a beast, but the Pacers haven’t had much problem with him this time around.  He has had bad shooting nights against them, and hasn’t been a threat.  This Cavs team is still some time away from even competing in the Central Division, and who knows when they’ll be fighting for a playoff spot in the Conference?

Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons

Jan 30, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons during the second half at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana won 98-79. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Pacers Lead 2-0

Two games against the Pistons and two double figure wins.  Remember when the Pacers and Pistons were fighting each other in the playoffs and it felt like a rivalry?  Looks like those days won’t be back around for a while.  This Pistons team is just bad.  They’re actually ahead of the Cavs in the division, so who knows what that is saying about that Cavs team?  The Pacers have had their way with this Pistons team, and I can’t imagine it being close in the next two games.  Roy Hibbert really came through in the recent meeting where he notched 18 points and 11 rebounds.  That’s some good work for the big fella.  The Pacers should count on two more divisional wins when they play the Pistons two more times.

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Tags: Central Division Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Detroit Pistons Indiana Pacers Milwaukee Bucks

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