Oct 22, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi (28) dunks the ball in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Pacers won 107-89. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers Finish Up Preseason Tonight

Here we go, the final game to tune up before the opening nights chords against the Orlando Magic next Tuesday.  Some might say, it wasn’t the most impressive preseason run, but guess what come next week, everyone starts 0-0, so it won’t even matter if the Pacers are able to run out and get some wins going.  You could look at the last few games and see that this team is starting to find it’s stride, and hopefully that’s the trend that will continue.

Some good shooting has happened.  Paul George has looked great in some of the games.  He’s hit for double figures most of the way here, which is where I expect him to be when things start to count.  The bench looked solid in the last outing, especially Luis Scola who got 20 points with most of that damage done in the fourth quarter.  If he can get that amount of scoring even once every few games, just think how much better that second unit can be.  Even just getting to double figures consistently would help, and I believe Scola can do that.

The bad news came when word got out that Danny Granger is going to miss that season opener, and well it might be more than that.  At least just wondering out loud.  There’s no official word on it, but it can’t be good from the sounds of Frank Vogel stating it’s worse than expected and he won’t be ready for the start of the season. I hate to go the pessimistic route, but it makes me think it might be even longer than that. In a way, that sets the starting line up with Lance Stephenson right back into his shooting guard role.  Hopefully he can flourish there even more than last season.  Now’s the time that we need to see all of Good Lance, and not anything of Bad Lance.

This is a team with high expectations. I believe one of the seasons that expectations are at their highest.  When’s the last time you expected a Pacers team to make a legit run to the Conference Finals? Even an appearance in the NBA Finals?  Maybe 2005?  We all remember how things ended there.  This is a team with plenty of talent all around, and improvements that seem to speak of management believing in this team.  It ends tonight with the games that don’t count, but come Tuesday, things count, and that’s where we see what this team is made out of.

Make sure to grab your Pacers tickets for the 2013-14 season here.

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