The rushed preseason and last second roster shuffling throughout the NBA has forced the winners of the games so far to endure their own stench-filled stretches of play and still find a way to win. That was certainly the case for the Indiana Pacers on Monday night as they leaned heavily on rebounding and effort at both ends of the floor to put away the Detroit Pistons.
That's a good thing. With all things being equal, there are no style points for W's so the Pacers have to find a way to win, which they did unlike the recent past, making that win a beautiful sight to behold.
There were plenty of good things to lean on, as well. Paul George playing like he wants to make a difference instead of worrying about getting in the way. His third quarter block, save and take for a smooth finish was as spectacular as it was smooth.
David West led the Pacers poor shooting night, but the bulk of those misses were good shots from areas in his wheelhouse. His presence on the floor was so assertive, no one needed to question whether they should step up, instead they just had to follow his lead.
Danny Granger struggled at times, but found ways to contribute and still score 16 points. His drive, draw and dish to Roy Hibbert was sweet, but his reaction, enjoying how he set up his teammate, even sweeter. That play symbolized how this Pacers team can succeed by utilizing selfless play and trusting teammates to make plays. That's an environment Hibbert can thrive in to hopefully even out the wild swings in his play.
As with Paul George's play on the court, the difference in the team's presence and approach on the court was hard to describe but so obvious to observe in comparison to the bulk of last season. But in the end, the Pacers took care of business as they should against that Pistons team. We'll see if this team is truly different by the way they back up opening night in the next few days. Then we'll worry about how they stack up against better teams.
But for now, the Pacers sit alone atop the Central Division, so enjoy it.
- Box Score - Indiana 91, Detroit 79
- PACERS: Rewind: Pacers vs. Detroit 122611
- Pacers strong defensive play leads to easy 91-79 win over Pistons | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Kravitz: Can I believe what I saw in opener? | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Pacers notebook: Vogel will tinker with minutes for deep roster | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Indiana 91, Detroit 79: Pistons can't keep up with taller Pacers | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
- Hibbert leads Pacers past Pistons 91-79 - NBA - AP
- Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert and David West go for double-doubles in team's opening night win over the Pistons - fox59.com
- Pacers Embarrass the Pistons in Season Opener - 8.9
- Pistons lose season opener on road to Pacers, 91-79 - Detroit Bad Boys
- Video: Eric Gordon hits game-winner for Hornets - CBSSports.com
- Dream job of Indiana Pacers George Hill | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
- Warriors beat Bulls, give Mark Jackson first win as coach - Basketball - NBA - SI.com
- NBA Scores And More: Lakers, Mavericks Fall Again; Warriors Stun Bulls - SBNation.com
- Lakers-Bulls: New Lakers Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy make an impact in opener - latimes.com
- 'Relieved' Stern vows new CBA will work - CBSSports.com - Berger