The Indiana Pacers moved 10 games above .500 after a big road win against Memphis on Monday. That win was the first on the road against a winning team since December 4th and just their second of the year. It was not only a key victory from that standpoint, but gets the team off to a good start on their difficult trip out West where they look to improve on their recent road struggles. This week's tests will either get Indiana on the right track against winning teams on the road or their nine consecutive weeks without a losing record will come to a close.
The road struggles may have played a slight hindrance to Indiana's progression in various power rankings this week, the hiccup against Orlando diminishing an otherwise solid win against a Houston team, that despite their current struggles, can still score at a high pace. In fact, for all the praise Indiana has rightfully gotten for their defense, it was their offense that helped give Indiana the 105-95 win. But while Seth Rosenthal looks at the Pacers offense being better...against weaker teams...who are...poor defensively, they've still needed that defense to lead their success in the month of January.
The 95 points is the third highest total Indiana has allowed this month, and their only win in January when they've allowed an opponent over 90 points. The Pacers are 7-0 this month when they hold an opponent under 90 points, as part of 17 straight wins when their opponent doesn't reach 90. It's easy to look at a loss in the NBA when you can't reach 90, but Indiana has found success because of that defense, going 9-4 in that stretch themselves when not reaching that plateau offensively.
NBA power rankings: Clippers, Thunder, Spurs, Heat have good weeks - SBNation.com
Is it just Seth Rosenthal, or has the Pacers offense been a little better in some recent examples? At least the defense has been stout.
NBA Basketball Power Rankings - National Basketball Association - ESPN
The Pacers stay locked in at #7 on Marc Stein's rankings, sharing the Pacers' unlikely stretch of success despite their inefficient offense.
Despite the road woes heading into their current road trip, the 10th ranked Pacers have shown considerable strength at home, with their defense, and with Paul George.
NBA Power Rankings: clippers back on top, showdown with Thunder Tuesday | ProBasketballTalk
Indiana jumps up to 6th, Kurt Helin curious if they'll trade Danny Granger upon his return. His guess is no.
NBA Power Rankings - Top 30 NBA Baskeball Teams - FOX Sports on MSN
Sam Amico keeps the Pacers at No. 8, believing the Pacers could be looking to move forward without Granger when he returns.
Top O' The World, Ma! - David Aldridge | NBA.com
David Aldridge moves the Pacers up to #5, noting progress from Granger and George.
2012-2013 Hollinger Power Rankings - ESPN
Indiana sits at No. 10 in Hollinger's rankings, having built a +3.91 scoring margin, with the fewest home games (19, with Denver and Miami) of anyone in the top ten.
Jeff Sagarin NBA ratings - USA TODAY
Indiana is up to 7th, improving their record against top 10 teams to 5-6 with their recent success.