Pacers down Bucks, run back on track

January 29, 2009 in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA by pacejmiller

Pacers Win

The looks say it all

In my last post I hoped that the Pacers would not only win their next game against Milwaukee, but also hold them under 100 points.  Well, they did.  Just.

After being annihilated by the Orlando Magic by giving up 135 points a day earlier, the Pacers went back to Indiana and beat the ailing Milwaukee Bucks, 107-99. 

The Pacers are now 18-28 and back on track in their quest to make some ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race during their softest stretch of the schedule.  Despite the victory, they have not improved in the standings, as other teams with similar records are also finding ways to win.  Things will get more interesting as the Pacers play their next 3 games at home, where they have now won 6 straight.

The win was against a team without both Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, but Pacers’ leading scorer Danny Granger sat out with a sore knee too (might explain why he’s been playing so poorly as of late).  TJ Ford filled the lacuna by tying a career high with 34 points. 

I think this is a good sign – it means TJ is recovering from his back problems and may be rounding into the hot form he had right at the start of the season (when he threatened triple-doubles for a whole week).  It also teaches them not to lean on Granger every night.

Coming up: Miami, New York, Minnesota – all at home.  All three teams have been playing well lately, so the Pacers will need big efforts from everyone on the team.  They usually find ways to disappoint when such opportunities arise, so this will be a perfect test to see if they are finally ready to move out of the cellar.