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Game Thread #34: Indiana Pacerse at Denver Nuggets

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12-21 22-12
January 5, 2009 - 9:00PM EST
Pepsi Center
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Jarrett Jack PG Chauncey Billups
Marquis Daniels SG Dahntay Jones
Danny Granger SF Carmelo Anthony
Jeff Foster PF Kenyon Martin
Roy Hibbert C Nene Hilario

UPDATE: Mike Wells reports that Marquis Daniels is now doubtful for tonight with a sore left groin. Not the best way to start the roadie.

The Indiana Pacers begin their five-game roadie against Western Conference trouble tonight when they visit the Denver Nuggets. Speaking of trouble, the Nuggs have flourished since trading for Pacer nemesis, Chauncey Billups, recently winning five of their last six games.

W's are going to be hard to come by on this roadie. By the end of evening next Monday, the Pacers will have played the Nuggets, Suns, Lakers, Warriors and Jazz. Two wins would be nice but I'm more interested in seeing a consistent level of play develop for the Pacers to match their consistent effort. Taking care of the ball, staying in control and making good decisions while still making plays worthy of winning games is a general wish for this trip. Playing winning basketball doesn't always mean you win, especially when matched up with strong teams on the road.

Here are the matchups and video preview. T.J. Ford is dealing with another strain, this time abdominal (following previous groin and lower-back strains), so his availability won't be known until game time and if he's a go will likely mean a role off the bench again.

For a Denver perspective, check out Roundball Mining Company, Denver Stiffs and Nugg Doctor.

Gameday Reading

  • Mike Wells offers his thoughts on the Pacers hitting the road with a positive vibe after two wins in a row.
  • Mike Wells reports on the Pacers' thoughts as they prepared to begin the road trip tonight in Denver.
  • This CelticsBlog Daily Babble takes a closer look at Jarret Jack taking over the game last Friday at Madison Square Garden.
  • HoopsWorld catches up with a confident Carmelo Anthony after his game-winner pushed the Nuggets past the Hornets on Saturday night. I'd love to see Danny Granger adopt that, "I'm going to get open" attitude for late game situations because he's willing to take and make the big shot if he gets it in his hands.
  • Chris Dempsey reports on the Nuggets struggles to close out opponents despite recent wins. Hmm. It's borderline rude to complain about close wins around the Pacers right now.

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