On this warm February night I was accompanied by my beautiful girlfriend in Section 4, Row 18, seats 1&2. The night started out with a $25 meal for the two of us at Dick’s Bodacious Bar-B-Q where we both dove into pulled pork sandwiches. The service was great and the restaurant is connected to the parking garage.
The Fieldhouse was packed in the lower bowl as the Pacers won the tip off and jumped out to a 10 point lead. The crowd was loud but as the quarter pressed on Golden State didn’t back down pulling within 4 by the end of the quarter. Like in many other games this year the zone gave the Pacers problems early on in the game. Fortunately for the Pacers Danny Granger had his mid-range jumper on target as he led the team in scoring. Besides Granger having a good scoring night with 25 points the Pacers made adjustments in the first half that allowed them to attack the zone vertically instead of horizontally – leading to either fast breaks, dunks or a combination that left the crowd going crazy!
The Pacers only gave up the lead once early in the second quarter 25 to 24 but regained the lead and pulled away quickly from Golden State. The rest of the game was all Pacers and by halftime they had opened up a 14 point lead.
The crowd cheered on the Pacers with only a few quiet moments throughout the entire game. One of those silent times lead to the story of the night as a fan from Area 55 yelled out to Nate Robinson of Golden State that he “Looked like a Smurf.” The rest of the night was filled with Area 55 chants of “Smurf, Smurf, Smurf, Smurf,” as Nate Robinson took foul shots and put up the occasional air ball. Besides the crowd giving Golden State a hard time the highlights came from an array of high soaring dunks supplied by Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, George Hill and even Lou! Darren Collison and George Hill did a good job throughout the game pushing the ball up the court keeping Golden State on their heels.
At the end of the night the Pacers looked strong against a below .500 team and they did so in fashion by leading throughout the second half of the game by 30 points. The Pacers would end this electric night with their fifth straight win 102 – 78. If you enjoy basketball and haven’t been to a game this is a team that you must see in person. FSIndiana does a great job broadcasting the game but the energy at the Fieldhouse and this group of players is something special. If you have the means, which I found my section 4, row 19 tickets for $10 a piece on StubHub, then take your buddy, wife, husband or entire family – you will have stories to tell for the next week.
The Marris Minute