3-0 last week for the Indiana Pacers as they figured out those ways to win in each game. Having to come from behind on the road against the New Orleans Pelicans to me is the most impressive win of the bunch. Especially when it’s on a back to back, and only the second game of the season. I think the Cleveland win was big when you consider that George Hill was out and C.J. Watson filled in quite well for him. Losing any starter is bad, and I really was hoping Hill would have had a great game then. I believe he’ll be fine for this week, which the Pacers will need all hands on deck. Two sets of back to back games for the Blue and Gold. Going even for the week would be fine by me. I know the challenge is still out there for the team to win 10 straight, but with games against the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets, that might be a tough task.
Tuesday, November 5th at Detroit Pistons
This is the game that I am sure Piston fans have circled up around their calendar as I’ve not been the believer in the team. But they were vocal in my articles about how real this team can be. I’m just a believer when I see it. You can have all the talent in the world, but it’s still going to take some time to mesh and work out what exactly fits the best. Then you add in a first year coaching putting his system out there, the players have to buy in that as well. The Pacers will have their hands full, especially with the big men, but I still believe that the Pacers are the better team, and just like last week against the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll find that way to win. I look for Paul George to put together a strong game of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Hopefully in that average of a double double for the season. I am looking forward to see Roy Hibbert and Andre Drummond in the post area. It could be a great time for Hibbert to establish himself as that top center if he’s able to get the better of that battle. Then you have another Georgetown guy in Greg Monroe who will definitely play tough against David West. West has been slow out of the gate this season, so it would be nice for him to hit for 15 or more points in this one. Take some of the scoring pressure off of Paul George. Whoever wins that battle of big men could end up winning the game. I’ll go with the Pacers with the single digit win.
Wednesday, November 6th hosting Chicago Bulls
Do I really need to say much about this match up? I am sure I will do the usual previewing come Tuesday and Wednesday for this one, but the first regular season game of the Bulls and Pacers is a big enough game to get attention on ESPN. You’ll have Derrick Rose back doing his thing. I am excited to see how Paul George plays in that type of atmosphere. Remember last year, Paul George came out firing in the first meeting against the Bulls and was hitting everything. I think he got over 30 points, and just looked ready to go after that scoreless game in Golden State. Now George is averaging 25 points in the past three games, so can he keep that going against the tough defense of the Chicago Bulls? You’ll have these two teams vying for first in the Central Division as the season wears one, but whoever gets that first win gets the leg up in it.
Friday, November 8th hosting Toronto Raptors
You know a great birthday present for me would have been courtside tickets for this game since November 8th is my birthday. I’m giving you all enough notice right? But I’ll take a Pacers victory as well. The Pacers might see a little bit of an old Pacer in Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hansbrough brings a little extra for this game as the Pacers didn’t seem interested in keeping him around after all those years he’s spent here. Augustin spent one season here, so I don’t imagine he’ll hold anything extra for the Blue and Gold. But the Raptors look like a much better team, even as they were making a run at the end of last season. This could be that game where the Pacers just don’t take the Raptors as seriously as they should, and end up with a loss at home, where they probably should win. Plus if you come off a strong performance against the Chicago Bulls, I’d be very leery about this one.
Saturday, November 9th at Brooklyn Nets
The Nets looked to have the Pacers’ number last season, so now with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out there, it could be a tough game for our home team. But I still believe the Pacers will step up and bring their A game to show that they’re who the Eastern Conference should go through. It’s all about who slows down Deron Williams in this game. He’s a guy that just beats the Pacers, and could do that again come Saturday. Whoever gets that defensive task needs to be on their toes. I expect a tough battle, and maybe a low scoring game if both teams are just bringing it defensively. It should be a fine finale for the week for the Indiana Pacers.