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Game Thread #6: Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers

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1-5 2-3
November 10, 2008 - 7:00PM EST
Conseco Fieldhouse
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Earl Watson PG T.J. Ford
Kevin Durant SG Marquis Daniels
Jeff Green SF Danny Granger
Nick Collison PF Troy Murphy
Johan Petro C Jeff Foster

The Indiana Pacers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Fieldhouse Monday night. The Thunder will try to bounce back from letting a potential win slip away against the Atlanta Hawks at home on Sunday.

This game sets up as a perfect chance for the Pacers to even their record at 3-3. This also sets up as the type of game the Pacers have bungled over the past few years. Last year for example, the Pacers solid start showed signs of crumbling when they dumped a game on the road to the then Seattle Supersonics (ooo, that was tougher to type than I thought).

This is a different Pacers team with a completely different make up and I can't imagine THIS Pacers team, with Jim O'Brien coaching, letting any team sneak up on them this year. For one, their margin of error is too slim so they should constantly be in "something to prove" mode. Also, with Mike Dunleavy and Rasho Nesterovice still nursing injuries, the Pacers are going ten deep and using an all-hands-on-deck approach. Ten guys aren't going to come out flat or caught off guard.

A good indicator will be the first six minutes of the game. The Pacers have played ten halves of basketball so far this season and the starting unit has had a plus score after six minutes in each of the ten halves with the exception of the second half against Phoenix. This is a team that comes out ready to play with a game plan to execute. The idea of playing hard for 48 minutes doesn't allow the starters to ease into the game. Get the ball and go from the opening tip. The competition has provided the juice to come out firing, so I'm looking forward to seeing the team reacts to playing a Thunder team they should be able to handle at home.

Game Day Reading

Blue Blitz and The Thunderworld have your OKC perspective.

Pregame matchups.

Mike Wells on Roy Hibbert trying to avoid fouls so he can play a bigger role.

Wells blog post on the Ws there for the taking in the next few games.

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