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Open Game Thread #16: Pacers at Blazers

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The Pacers are in the Rose City tonight to take on the Blazers. Time for a professional-level effort since the team is coming off an emotional, hard-fought win in Denver last night. The Blazers are a dangerous, young team that despite their 5-9 record has played quite well at times this year. Sure the Pacers should win but they'll have to earn it. Bruno's Scouting Report laments the how a few good story lines for this game have vaporized due to injury. Jermaine O'Neal began his career in Portland but isn't expected to play tonight. For the Blazers, Indy natives Greg Oden and Josh McRoberts won't be involved in the action either. McRoberts might suit up but he's only played 33 seconds this year.

The day after, Mike Dunleavy is still raw about his phantom foul on J.R. Smith last night.

"It was ridiculous. It wasn't a foul," Dunleavy said. "He kicked me, and you just can't make that call. You have to take a guy out and you can't have a guy flop like that. It all works out and karma comes out on top, and we deserved the win."
Even O'B complained about the refs after the game. I'm just happy to see the Pacers stare down some serious in-game adversity and escape with the W. Surviving all the bad calls actually makes the W taste a little sweeter.

Checking out King Knickerblogger's stats, it looks like the Blazers haven't been pushing the pace much (25th in league), although they will give up plenty of points (Def efficiency = 109.2). Those numbers indicate that the Pacers should be in good shape if they can keep running. They'll get plenty of scoring opportunities, so it boils down to actually making shots. Yeah, I know, making more shots is a pretty important stat. That's some sick analysis right there, my friends. Lap it up.

Projected Starters
PACERS pos. BLAZERS
Troy Murphy F LaMarcus Aldridge
Danny Granger F Martell Webster
Jeff Foster C Joel Pryzbilla
Mike Dunleavy G Brandon Roy
Jamaal Tinsley G Steve Blake

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game in the comments.