Only two games this past week for the Indiana Pacers, but two games that were quite different from each other. First, there was the game Tuesday night against the Miami Heat, where the Pacers did their thing and won against a quality opponent. They used Roy Hibbert to their advantage as the Heat had no answer for him. David West had a good game. The post area is where the Pacers will have to continue to exploit against the Heat.
Friday night came a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, where the Pacers did just enough to beat that team. It wasn’t a pretty game by any means. But a win against the Bobcats does count for the same as a win against the Miami Heat. So, going 2-0 on the week to continue their strong play is saying something.
Paul George will sleep off that last game as he had his lowest scoring output of the season. Come tomorrow night, I expect to see George right back at his 20 point range and shooting the ball right back into the basket. Tomorrow’s game against the Detroit Pistons could be another game like Charlotte where the Pacers could do just enough to pull off the victory.
But that win against the Heat is the one that people are talking about, especially since the Pacers will see the Heat again this week. Right now, the Pacers are 3 games up on the Heat in the Eastern Conference standings. The Pacers have made it loud and clear they want that first spot in the East. They might have poked Lebron James after Lance Stephenson took a dunk in towards the end of Tuesday’s win. He was seen mouthing to Paul George, “I’ll remember that” a couple of times. Just another layer to add to Wednesday’s game there in Miami.
The Pacers also have a great lead in their own division, and can pick up another game tomorrow night in that race against the Pistons. Right now, they sit 9.5 games ahead of second place Detroit. Just look at that margin. 9.5 games is a comfortable lead, but I know the Pacers won’t feel comfortable until the end of the season when it’s all locked up. Who knows what the earliest the Pacers can clinch as that idea is already being thrown out there only this early in the season?