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Game Thread #69: Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers

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Portland Trail Blazers
@
Indiana Pacers
42-25 28-37
March 18, 2009 - 7:00PM EST
Conseco Fieldhouse
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Steve Blake PG T.J. Ford
Brandon Roy SG Jarrett Jack
Nicolas Batum SF Danny Granger
LaMarcus Aldridge PF Jeff Foster
Joel Przybilla C Roy Hibbert

The Indiana Pacers find themselves in desperate need of a win against a Portland Trail Blazers team that is equally desperate to scratch out a road W. Barring a total collapse, the Blazers will make the playoffs, but the tightly bunched standings among the Western Conference playoff contenders makes every game they play vital for post-season positioning.

Two weeks ago the Pacers put forth one of their best efforts on the road when they let a W slip away late in the game at Portland after leading and playing real well for the first 40 minutes. The matchup against the Blazers always looks daunting for the Pacers but for some reason they've been able to play the Blazers tough over the past couple of years. Hopefull that trend holds true tonight.

Here are the Pacers.com Matchups. Troy Murphy is doubtuful due to a calf contusion suffered in Toronto. The puts Jeff Foster in a power forward. The Pacers will probably try to go small at some point by putting Marquis Daniels in for Roy Hibbert. Danny Granger wasn't fully ready to go on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see how much he can play, let alone how effective his play will be.

For the Portland perspective, check out Blazer's Edge.

GAMEDAY READING

Leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments. I'm travelling to Seattle today and will most likely watch the game late on DVR. Most of the Blazer games are now carried in Seattle so the timing is perfect. I really wish that wasn't the case, though.