Plenty of fun reading available after a blow-out win.
- Start the tour with Bruno's game recap. We learn that Mike Dunleavy took O'B's harsh words to heart and went off.
O'Brien said a "volatile timeout" in which he expressed his displeasure with the team's poor transition defense preceded Dunleavy's explosion.The Pacers often feast off brief individual player surges in wins. Sure, 48 minutes of consistent play would be ideal, but this team doesn't have that in them. As long as 3 or 4 guys can offer strong contributions at some point in the game, the result is usually a W.
"Whatever clicks in Mike, to do what he did in New York (a career-high 36 points) and do what he did for the last 6 minutes of the half, which was brilliant in every phase - passed it, shot it, rebounded, led the break, defended -- it was a pretty impressive thing he was able to accomplish," O'Brien said. "Whatever switch he throws, you would like to see it twice a night because when he throws it he's a heck of a player to watch."
- Check out the game flow and you see Danny handle the first quarter, Dunleavy take over the second. Back to Danny and Dun in the third, with Quisy and Rush contributing a burst to start the 4th.
Mike Wells' recap has a nice quote from Kareem Rush perfectly summing up the messy middle of the Eastern Conferenc.
The victory allowed the Pacers to stay in the pack of teams fighting for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference behind Boston, Detroit and Orlando. They're one of six teams within two games of a .500 record but now play nine of their next 11 on the road.Exactly why the past couple of weeks could prove costly for the Pacers. If they play well enough to earn a playoff spot, the wasted opportunities could be the difference between a 4 or 5 seed and a 7 or 8 seed. Oh, well, what's done is done.
"Our goal is to get homecourt advantage," Rush said. "In the Eastern Conference, you go on a five- or six-game winning streak and you're back up in fourth place."
Pacers Notebook tells us Danny Granger decided to work his way out of his recent poor play.
"I've been in a slump or whatever you want to call it," Granger said. "It feels good to get back on track. I just got back in the gym, worked a little harder and worked on some of my moves, and I knew it was going to come around eventually."Last night was another case of hard work paying off. I'd say it is time for that level of preparation and production to become routine for Danny.
We also learn about the drastic FG% difference between uncontested (50%) and contested (18%) shots for the Pacers. Plus, Jamaal Tinsley is going on the trip with plans to play, but he's still not sure about the first game in L.A.
Sekou Smith breaks down the Hawks' side of the story. Hoosier legend Mike Woodson didn't sugar coat his analysis.
"We came out so flat, man," Woodson said. "We just stunk tonight. They wanted it a little bit more in terms of getting off their slide. And we knew it, and we just didn't respond. And I've got to take the blame for that."