Indiana Pacers 95 New Orleans Pelicans 90
The Indiana Pacers will move to 2-0 in this season, and what a win this was tonight. You can throw out the cliches. Great teams figure out how to win and a tale of two halves is the best ones to use for this game. The Pacers just looked out of it in that first half, and probably had no business coming out with this win. Just think a few years ago, this Pacers team probably doesn’t win this game. But know they’re starting to see that you can figure out how to win a game when your best stuff isn’t there. Or just save the best for last.
That third quarter is where the Pacers start the turnaround in this one as they outscored New Orleans 23-16. Allowing under 15 points is the ideal defensive effort I would love to see, but that 16 points is fine too. But perhaps saving the best for the last was the Pacers motto as they put up 36 points in that final quarter. 36 points in any quarter is a great number. To do 36 points in the fourth quarter when you’ve played a game the night before, and now you’re playing a team that’s opening up the season at home is just extra icing on top of the cake. This might not be any significant win in the standings for the Pacers, but this type of win could go a long way in the season.
Who gets the game ball for this team’s performance? Paul George is the easy candidate as he finished with 32 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Just doing a bit of everything in that stat sheet. How about Lance Stephenson? Being GOOD LANCE for the second game, and finished with his own 16 points and 8 rebounds. If he can keep that up, you’ll be looking at a candidate for Most Improved Player. But I am going with the floor general here, George Hill. He made some late baskets to keep the Pacers going, and gets his own 19 points. If he can get even close to that every night, just think how much better this Pacers team will be. He’s a guy that I really expect good things from this season, and hopefully this is the start.
Roy Hibbert started to come around late in this one with a block and hitting a big basket. He was hampered by foul trouble, and maybe this could be that wake up game for Hibbert to just be aggressive no matter the circumstances. We will have to see how he responds come Saturday night, but I believe he’ll come around much stronger in that one. Overall, just a great win for a team based upon the circumstances of figuring out playing time, on the road in only the second game of the season, and on a back to back. Even the great teams are going to have to figure out those ways to win, which Miami couldn’t figure out tonight. But here are the Indiana Pacers sitting pretty at 2-0. Just 80 more games to go right?