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Game Thread #44: Charlotte Bobcats at Indiana Pacers

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Charlotte Bobcats
Indiana Pacers
18-25 16-27
January 25, 2009 - 7:00PM EST
Conseco Fieldhouse
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: No local TV
Probable starters:
Ray Feltonon PG Jarrett Jack
Raja Bell SG Mike Dunleavy
Gerald Wallace SF Danny Granger
Boris Diaw PF Troy Murphy
Emeka Okafor C Jeff Foster

UPDATE: Bruno's Inside the Game LIVE blog is up.

Don't look now, but the Indiana Pacers appear to be in prime shape to put together a stretch of winning basketball. With the messy back half of the Eastern Conference, there's plenty of playoff math equations left that include the Pacers in post-season play.

That makes tonight's game against Charlotte even more interesting since the Bobcats are two games ahead of the Pacers in the East and playing some solid baskteball of late. Larry Brown seamlessly incorporated a few new faces and suddenly Charlotte has gone 7-3 in their last ten games.

Here are the Matchups. With Raja Bell and Boris Diaw in the mix for the Bobcats they present a different challenge than the team that beat the Pacers in overtime in late November. Without Jason Richardson the Bobcats are as imposing offensively, but they make up for it on the defensive end which is making them a more difficult team to deal with lately.

I guess what I'm saying is, the matchup of the Bobcats vs. Pacers may not light up the marquee but if you look below the surface this should be a very entertaining game. Larry Brown is coaching the Cats and has them playing well. The Pacers are desperate for wins and starting to show signs of better play at the defensive end. Plus, neither team has given up on the playoffs so taking down one of their competitors for a playoff spot becomes a guts-spill-worthy prize to play for tonight.

For the Charlotte perspective, check out Rufus On Fire and Queen City Hoops.

Gameday Reading

  • Mike Wells focuses on Troy Murphy's serious on-court effort this year which is in contrast to his goofy off-court theatrics.
  • Ron Green, Jr. updates the situation on former Bloomington North star, Sean May who is struggling to work his way back into playing shape for the Bobcats.
  • Sweet read from Eddie Johnson on HoopsHype with lots of love for Danny Granger's Old Man Game.

There's no Fox Sports Indiana broadcast of the game and I'm not sure if the Charlotte broadcast will be available on free NBA League Pass. I'll be down at the Fieldhouse for this one and checking in form there, so leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.