Plenty of intersting sub-plots involved tonight when the Indiana Pacers take on the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. While the Pacers have been stumbling of late they remain in the muck and mire of the five or six Eastern Conference teams up for consideration for the 7th and 8th playoff spots in the East. Of course, Toronto has the same muck on them, so the winner will enjoy picking up a critical game on a direct competitor for the same prize.
The other stories to follow involve Jim O'Brien's lineup shuffle and how the team will play with Roy Hibbert coming off the bench. The starting lineup is now absent of a post presence at the offensive end, but that presence hasn't been to strong in the past few games, so maybe Hibby will find his flow with the second unit.
Even more interesting to me, is who will start at shooting guard. Any objective observer realizes that Dahntay Jones has outplayed Brandon Rush drastically so far in the young season. Yet, it appears the Rush is expected to retain his starting job tonight. We'll see. If that is the case, I still expect Dahntay Jones to play more minutes than Rush and having Jones bolsters the second unit. So, essentially, Rush will play the role Dahntay played last year in Denver, a starter player few minutes than the finisher off the bench, while Dahntay will play for role of J.R. Smith.
Oh, and we can't forget that Jarrett Jack will be playing his first game against the Pacers since cashing in on some life-long security in Toronto this summer. Prior to the season, I figured Jack's first game against the Pacers would be the focal point of this game, but with all that is going around the Pacers it will merely be background noise.
Oh, and one more thing. You can complain about JOB and his efforts to change the results, but at some point a player or players need to grab this team by the figurative lapels, demand better and not let these lapses go without some accountability.
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