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Game Thread #19: Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers

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7-11 15-3
December 5, 2008 - 7:30PM EST
Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
T.J. Ford PG Delonte West
Marquis Daniels SG Mo Williams
Danny Granger SF LeBron James
Troy Murphy PF Ben Wallace
Rasho Nesterovic C Zydrunas Ilguaskas

UPDATE: Bruno is LIVE! Blogging the action.

The Indiana Pacers are in Cleveland tonight to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers. The Cavs appear to be outright slackers compared to the Pacers' last two opponents. It will be a nice break for the Blue and Gold to play a team with all of three losses for the season.

These teams have already played once in Cleveland and the Pacers fared quite well through three quarters but added the game to their stack of blown-lead losses, although it wasn't a double-digit lead and, well, LeBron dialed up the intensity on the second half.

Taking care of the ball is always key for the Pacers. In the last game the Cavs cashed in 26 points on the Pacers' 24 turnovers. That's just crazy. Value the ball and shoot it well and the Pacers should be in for another tight one. The Pacers will have to bring it for all 48 minutes, too, because the Cavs are a team that has grown stronger since the last meeting as their gaudy record indicates.

Here are the Pacers.com matchups.

Check out Fear The Sword, And One and CavsHQ for a Cleveland perspective.

Game Day Reading

  • Mike Wells talks to opposing coaches about Danny Granger's offensive development this year.
  • George M. Thomas has some notes on the Cavs' recent blowout games and their respect for the Pacers. Mike Brown likes the Pacers effort.

    ''That team just plays hard. They play hard for 48 minutes,'' Brown said. ''That's the personality of [their coach] Jim O'Brien. They have some pretty good players, but they're young.

    ''When you give effort like that for 48 minutes, even teams that you think should beat them handily, it's not going to be an easy game.''
  • Considering the team's great start, Terry Pluto is wondering if people should truly believe in the Cavs as legitimate title contenders. Believing isn't as easy as it sounds for Cleveland's local sports fans when you consider the heartbreak their local pro sports teams have delivered over the years. My take: Wah! Enjoy LeBron and dream big.
  • Mark Boyle chats up Cavs's coach Mike Brown in his latest podcast.
  • Merry Birdmas everybody!

Leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.