We played the Pacers a couple weeks ago and not that much has changed. If you want the full preview dish click here. The appetizer sampler plate is:
--Unless you leave them wide, wide open (and half the time even then) the Pacers can't shoot. Stay in front of your man and all will be well. Points in the paint will be a key stat.
--We must dominate the boards to have a chance. When they miss that should be the end of their possession. This will be no easy task as they have some good offensive rebounders.
--Sag off onto Jermaine O'Neal and Al Harrington when you can and make somebody else try to beat you.
--Don't take the ball 1-on-1 into the teeth of their defense because they'll snuff it. Move yourself and the ball, however, and they'll open up.
--Free throws will indicate whether we're playing offense correctly.
The Pacers are .500 but they're much better at home (5-2) than on the road (5-8). We've already lost to them at our place which does not shed a lot of positive light on our chances tonight. With energy and execution they will let us in the game though. If we play stupid or slow they have more proven talent and should waltz to a victory. Last time we lost a close game (Orlando) we came out with one of the worst efforts of the season (Atlanta). Cross your fingers...