The Indiana Pacers had a distinct advantage over the Houston Rockets last night.
The Pacers have been in town all week with full exposure to the massive energy source that Butler and the Final Four have brought to the city. You can't go anywhere downtown without sensing the excitement surrounding the games. And you can't go anywhere in the city or surrounding counties without sensing the excitement over Butler's run to the NCAA championship game tonight.
All of that absolute positive energy has to subconsciously fuel the basketball souls of the Pacers as they've now witnessed first-hand what winning will, not can, WILL do to the local fan base.
Yesterday we took the boys to participate in the Final Four dribble parade and play at Bracket Town. Butler shirts everywhere. But forget downtown, there are fresh t-shirts all over Central Indiana as everyone you talk to has some little connection to this team (even me, my son's teacher is Darnell Archey's wife).
So when you combine the atmosphere the Pacers have been living in along with the fact that three players also have deep ties to Duke (and represented them well yesterday), the Rockets had no chance. Fortunately, the Pacers didn't just absorb the energy, they also added their own positive hoops juice to the party on Sunday.
After the jump, a few links of interest from the win last night.
PACERS: Inside the Game: Pacers 133, Rockets 102
Bruno's Inside the Game report has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights from the win.
Offensive outburst propels Pacers in rout
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers firing on all cylinders for an easy win over the Rockets.
Balanced Pacers cruise past Rockets for 133-102 victory
John Oehser reports on the Pacers getting a little help from everybody while cruising to a win over the Rockets. Also includes the highlights from the game and there were plenty of highlights from this one.
McBob puts on a show
Mike Wells with more on the former Dukies lighting it up at the Fieldhouse on Sunday evening.
Game 76 Recap: Rockets Mail One In To The Pacers, 133-102
Tom Martin tries to make sense of the Rockets' 31-point loss on the heels to winning at Boston.
Rockets' lack of defense leads to Pacers' 133-102 rout
Jonathan Feigen reports on the Rockets failure to slow down the Pacers.
Rockets notes: Tough return for Martin
Jonathan Feigen has more on the rough return to the court for Kevin Martin and Jared Jeffries. At least Jeffries was able to see his dog.
Surprise, surprise, Pacers trio picking Duke
Brett Friedlander from ACC country tests the loyalties of the former Duke players on the Pacers and they all passed with the Blue Devils as their pick for the game. Best part of this story is the Dunleavy 'Stache Dunk picture.