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Open Game Thread #32: Pacers at Bobcats

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Back home again, ready for the Pacers to take on the Charlotte Bobcats this afternoon. But, alas, no television. Ugh! No worries, I can haul Boyle and Slick around with me to follow the action.

The Pacers need this win badly. Yes, Jamaal Tinsley is out and will hopefully return for the tough West Coast road trip that begins next week. But I don't care who is sitting and who is healty, the Pacers have to win today. They also need to win the remaining games this week against Memphis and Atlanta. But, today the focus is on Charlotte.

These afternoon road games seem to always go awry for the Pacers. But the time is now to get it done. Knowing Tins is out in advance should help the team prepare. Andre Owens needs to seize the opportunity and not try to fill JT's shoes but just play his game and lead the team his way -- take care of the ball, set up his teammates, and bring it on defense. Maybe Travis Diener will get a chance to shoot himself back into some playing time. The Pacers drastically need the boost Diener could provide.

One of 82, I know, but the slope is getting slippery and with injury excuses piling up the Pacers can't give in and start a sliding down before the schedule really turns slick.

Here's a game preview.

Here's what the efficiency numbers say:

Team Pace Off.Eff. Def.Eff.
IND 98.1(2nd) 105.3(19th) 105.9(12th)
CHA 89.4(21th) 101.6(25th) 109.2(20th)

The Pistons are slow, deliberate, and successful. Prepare for a grind.

Projected Starters
Jermaine O'Neal F Gerald Wallace
Danny Granger F Emeka Okafor
Troy Murphy C Nazr Mohammed
Mike Dunleavy G Jason Richardson
Andre Owens G Raymond Felton

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