Media Row Report: Pacers remind Celtics of what they used to be

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

As I walked through the Indiana Pacers locker room on Saturday night, it reminded me of all those epic Boston teams of years' past.

What better time to try something new than on a Saturday night? The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics clashed in an energetic game where the home team played up to the level of a serious title contender. At halftime, the Pacers were in control and the boxscore looked true to form. They had three players in double figures and it was their star trio of Paul George, Lance Stephenson, and Roy Hibbert. The second half, however, is where the fun really began.

Though Indiana started the 3rd quarter with more of the same, Boston got loose later in the stanza with energy plays that led to offensive rebounds which led to open looks. Kris Humphries was the first to delve into the theme of 'role reversal', as he transformed himself into a young Charles Barkley for a few minutes. He was finishing strong with contact, hitting jumpers, and getting straight Windex with it on the glass.

Then, came the 4th quarter. This is where Evan Turner practically was the Pacers' offense for a god chunk of time. On a night where they honored Allen Iverson in Philadelphia, ET did his best AI impression. Then came Rajon Rondo's out of body experience, draining deep three's like he was Ray Allen. It was an epic period of play, filled with playoff-style energy. In the end, though, the (blue n yellow) cream rose to the top.

Following the game, reporters were buzzing about Turner's play in the second half and what it meant to an already deep contender. George, who sat an extra minute or two due to Evan's hot streak, was all positive. "I'm all about winning and the same with Lance. We don't care who's getting the shots." He then added, "there are going to be moments where Lance and I get tired." Turner's postgame comments showed how high his confidence has grown with his new team. "I thought Paul was subbing in for me at first because he was holding up a '1', thinking I would just take a minute break and come right back in." George Hill's absence tonight, coupled with Evan's scoring surge, inspired me to ask head coach Frank Vogel if he could see himself starting Turner at PG one day. He confidently stated "yes" but then added "George Hill is the starting point guard on this team." Enough said.

On a more player-related note, I noticed that Paul George hit two almost identical runners in the 1st quarter, the second being an 'and one'. I asked him if we can expect to see more of this unique shot as the season goes on. "It's a play I've been working on" he admitted. "Trying to get defenders on their heels, getting the bump as well as going up, and also having the balance to finish the shot." Consider this a preview of coming attractions, Indiana.

As I later stood in the Celtics' locker room, I noticed a drastic difference. It was more than just the effects of a tough loss at home. Looking up at all the historical Boston photos on the walls, I couldn't help but feel that the Celtic aura was gone. On second thought, it was alive and well - in the visitor's locker room.

Head coach Frank Vogel had the line of the night. When asked about bank-shot, three-pointer by Rajon Rondo that was disallowed after official review, he professed "I love instant replay."

When it's going good it's going good. This group appears to be getting all of the bounces that teams of destiny usually get - not that they need them.

{Martin Knezevic is an NBA Regional Scout and also contributes to Sports Blog Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @NBAKnez."

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