The Pacers had a strong effort last week finishing up 3-0 after wins over the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia Sixers. It was a good way to bounce back from the loss at Chicago the week before. That win at New York helped Paul George become a legit MVP candidate, the way he torched the Knicks in that second half. He took the Pacers and helped carried them to that win. Now this week will set up 3 games on the week that the Pacers need to go out and win. If you want to look ahead even more, next week is the ever so popular west coast trip that will feature the Los Angeles Clippers, the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Antonio Spurs, and even the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not exactly a trip out west for some sightseeing. That’s why I believe this week the Pacers need to put their foot to the pedal and drive home three straight wins to get themselves in the right mindset for next week.
Monday, November 25th
Indiana Pacers vs Minnesota Timberwolves
This week features a good match up with a fellow MVP candidate in Kevin Love. Love is a double double machine, so David West will have to be at his strongest tonight to slow down him. Kevin Love is averaging 24 points a game, so hopefully he won’t be near that mark this evening. The Pacers will have to keep an eye on Kelvin Martin as well, who’s up there in the 22 points a game average. That’s definitely above his career average of 17 points, so I would imagine Paul George takes some time defending this guy, so he doesn’t put up a scoring clinic. This is a game I would love to pencil in the Pacers as a winner right away. But then again, that performance against the Sixers on Saturday didn’t build up the confidence that much. The Pacers will have to be on their toes this whole game, and get back to that defensive intensity they’ve shown so much throughout the first 13 games. If they can do that, then sure, give the Pacers the win. I’m going with that mindset because I know the Pacers want to stay perfect at home, and they’ve shown that they have that next gear when it comes to defense.
Wednesday, November 27th
Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Bobcats
This one might as well be a win for the Pacers as they’ve always dominated the Charlotte franchise. Here’s a name I bet you didn’t think I would bring up, but it’s too bad Tyler Hansbrough wasn’t still around, he was always good against this team. Especially in Charlotte. The Pacers should be fine against a team they’ve won 22 out of the 32 times they’ve met. Paul George should have a strong game. Roy Hibbert could do some work. The Pacers should be 2-0 on the week after this win.
Friday, November 29th
Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards
The Pacers head back home for a date with the Wizards, who have looked a bit better than usual. But they’re still not anywhere near the talent of this Pacers team. The Pacers will have to lock down on the guards, Bradley Beal and John Wall to help themselves in this matter of putting away the Wizards. I feel like this could be like that Sixers game, where the Pacers just do enough to win the game before that West coast trip that starts next Sunday. But finishing strong would be the best way to lead into that.