Dec 23, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) grabs a rebound in front of Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche (0) and Brooklyn Nets power forward Mirza Teletovic (33) during the first quarter of a game at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers Host Brooklyn Nets: What To Expect

Tonight, the Indiana Pacers get back in action after five days off.  There have been a couple of practices after Christmas, but I am still curious how sharp this team is heading back into game play.  They are going up against the Brooklyn Nets, who just look to be collapsing, which is something I saw happening with all the new pieces and first year head coach.

But the word trap game doesn’t seem necessary for this game tonight.  The Pacers could come out a little lax and slow at first, but that could be expected with the small layoff.  This seems like a team best suited to play more games in a row to keep their momentum going.  I do expect a much tougher outing from the Nets as you do see them trying to find their way back to better play.

On the Pacers side, I fully expect a strong game out of the team as they are the better team.  What do they say about the better team? The better team wins. I’d love to see another strong effort from Lance Stephenson as he’s slowly garnered that national attention for an All Star bid.

Even in the latest returns, he was in the top ten for voting, which actually surprised me.  George Hill was up there as well just ahead of Stephenson, another pleasant surprise. I’d love to see a great effort from Roy Hibbert as there’s no Brook Lopez to contend with, and I don’t believe the Nets can match what the Pacers have in that center position.

This could be a competitive game for three quarters as I believe the Pacers show some signs of rust.  Even if you have strong practices, nothing clicks like game speed. But if the Pacers can come out with the effort that they showed in the past three games, this should be a walk in the park, especially with the energy of a packed Banker’s Life Fieldhouse. I’ll go with a Pacers win by 10 or more points, adding another double figures win to that column. Really keep an eye on Hibbert, who I believe will have a strong game this evening.  Blue and Gold back in action, what could be better?

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