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Game Thread #24: Indiana Pacers at Memphis Grizzlies

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Indiana Pacers
9-14 10-15
December 17, 2009 - 8:00PM EST
FedEx Forum
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
T.J. Ford PG Mike Conley
Brandon Rush SG O.J. Mayo
Mike Dunleavy SF Rudy Gay
Troy Murphy PF Zach Randolph
Roy Hibbert C Marc Gasol

The Indiana Pacers will re-aquaint themselves with former Pacer, Jamaal Tinsley tonight when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.

Mike Wells touched base with Tinsley and found the mercurial point guard held no grudge for the way his tenure ended in Indy. Mighty big of him considering he's still holding better than $10 million in non-earned but guaranteed cash. Since the Pacers are paying him more tonight than his actual team, the least he could do is attempt a half dozen or so 3-pointers. Seems fair to me.

The young Grizz team has been playing well lately despite a tough schedlue and will offer plenty of problems for the Pacers. Especially if the Pacers defense lets up just a little bit. O.J Mayo, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph are all able and more than willing to spark a huge offensive run if allowed the room.

As for the Pacers, last Thursday in the midst of a losing streak, Jim O'Brien made the simple point that a major problem for the Pacers at the time was their poor shooting. Several players were shooting below their normal percentage and he explained that he expected the shooting to swing back in their favor at some point. Well, a few days later the perimeter thaw began and the improved shooting has jump-started the offense. Bruno has more in his Scouting Report but in a nutshell, players are more eager to pass to a teammate who knocks down a shot. With the ball moving, confident shooters are more willing to move and find an open spot. Success builds on success in all facets of the game. Human nature can be funky and frustrating, but it's also real.

Also, sounds like the Poplar Bluff posse will be out in force to see Tyler Hansbrough and the Pacers tonight. According to this tweet, around 1,000 Poplar Bluffians will be in Memphis tonight supporting their home-town hero.

For a Memphis perspective, check out Straight Outta Vancouver and 3 Shades of Blue.

Leave your thoughts and observations in the comments. Also, pop open an extra browser to keep up with Bruno's Live Blog.