The Indiana Pacers are back in action tonight against the Boston Celtics as they look to avenge an early season loss that saw the Pacers get handled from the second quarter on. In that game, there was a tough flagrant foul that saw Kevin Garnett get ejected, so it will be interesting to see if there’s any layover from that. With as physical as these teams can be, that could come into play. No Danny Granger for the Pacers as he’s out with soreness in his knee. Another issue to watch for the team as they hope to get Granger back into playing shape after he’s been in the past five games. Who knows what the time frame is now? But Granger is so important to this team, that getting him back is ideal.
What can the Pacers do to win this game?
Tough Physical Play
This should be where the Pacers could really get back on the Celtics. Last time out, the Celtics just looked tougher and played tougher. But this Pacers team isn’t a push over type team. They know when to step up and impose their own will. I would look for David West to continue his gritty play as of late, especially in that Bulls game when he goes for 31 points, a quiet 31 one at that. But Pacer fans know how valuable West is, and I can see him coming out to carry the Pacers to the finish line tonight.
Continue the Home Dominance
Sure there have been a couple of blips here and there for the Pacers at home. But in February, they won 7 home games all by double figures. Two losses came in overtime, and that last loss at home last month was just a tough loss. The Pacers show how they can turn it on at home, especially by putting up over 100 points there. The team looks so much more fluid and energized at home. Getting a good win against a potential playoff match up could do wonders for the Blue and Gold.
Paul George Paul George
I’m not knocking what Paul George has been doing, which is a double double machine for four of the past five games. Therefore, I want that to continue. I think 20 and 10 really helps the Pacers get going in this game. George has been so impressive at times, and I want that to continue. What better way to do it against the tough play of the Celtics and against one of the better defenders in Paul Pierce? Usually Pierce is the one beating the Pacers, but tonight the tables can be turned. It’s time for George to step up and fire away on the Celtics like it’s the Boston Tea Party.