After running a 10K in the morning it was a pleasure to watch the visiting Pacers pull away from the Hornets after a close first quarter. Ex-Pacers Solomon Jones and Jarret Jack did their best to keep the game close but the team play of the Pacers proved to be too much. In the first half the Pacers moved the ball having six assists on ten baskets. The Hornets played extermely physical basketball but the Pacers kept moving the ball and driving to the basket opening up a 54 to 37 lead at the half.
The night was highlighted by slam dunks and clutch shoots. A pass from A.J. to Lou and from Jones to Hill lead to some electric dunks that silenced the crowd. The crowd was really taken out of the game when the Pacers missed a foul shoot at the end of the first half and Darren Collision put up an unbelievable shoot...adding to the lead.
The Pacers didn't let up in the second half and continued to pull away from the Hornets. At times the Pacers looked complacent with their large leads but whenever the lead dipped below 20 Frank Vogel didn't hesitate to take a timeout. It would pay off as the Pacers second and third units continued to shut down the Hornets and knock down shoots. In the end this game was an awesome 102 - 84 victory for the Pacers but there are many more story lines; many more important story lines.
First A.J. Price used the time that George Hill was injured to his advantage. Sources say that A.J. worked hard in practice and it showed in the games. When Hill went down Price got more playing time. His ability to find the open player and knock down three pointers moved him up in the depth chart ahead of the young Lance Stephenson. Secondly Lou Amundson went for a double-double...that is right #17 big Lou! For many this may not seem like a big deal but to see Lou go for a double-double just shows that this Pacer team is deep and a true team, not a bunch of selfish stars.
Lastly and most importantly this was the Pacers sixth straight win. The next nine games will be a true test for the Pacers as they take on teams like the the Heat, Bulls, Magic and Knicks. The difference between the Pacers and the other league leaders is that we have a team, not a bunch of stars. When I say the Heat you think Lebron or Wade. When I say the Bulls you think Rose and the Magic you think..."Where is Howard going to end up?"
When the Indiana Pacers are brought up everyone is curious who will have a big night. In two weeks we will have a much better sense of how far this Pacer team can make it this year in the playoff as they take on those stars. I will take this team over all the stars in the world and I think the Pacers will show the world why - it is fun to watch a true basketball team! PACERSNATION!
The Marris Minute