The Pacers seemed relieved to just win a game they were expected to win but didn't deserve to win after not playing their best. The reserve unit continues to struggle, making a collective 4 of 18 shots but at this point nothing matters other than the Ws.
What the past couple of weeks has confirmed is that despite the gaudy record, the Pacers can't show up without playing well and expect to roll any team. If there is one area of their game out of sync, a loss remains in play.
Always something with the Pacers when they struggle to put away teams or lose games. Lately free throw shooting has been a problem, but the effort at the line helped seal the win on Saturday night. The Pacers made 32 of 37 free throws to enjoy an 11-point advantage on freebies over the Nets.
Of course, turnovers (24) and the points they turned into (36) for the Nets was the bugaboo area that forced the Pacers to sweat out the W for the full 48. Eventually, Luis Scola ended the game with 0.4 second remaining on what could've been a turnover had there been more time.
Fitting end for the Pacers to just take the W and move on to Monday night when they host Orlando.
Distractions from the Andrew Bynum signing didn't seem to bother the Pacers, although I wouldn't say they are excited about their new teammate. David West felt, trying to do too much, as he put it, "swinging for home runs" with passes led to the rash of turnovers and the need to grind out a win. The Pacers made winning difficult on themselves against the Nets, but they'll take the tough win over a bad loss any day.
Check out the links: