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Game Thread #64: Indiana Pacers at Portland Trail Blazers

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Indiana Pacers
@
Portland Trail Blazers
27-36 37-22
March 4, 2009 - 10:00PM EST
The Rose Garden
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
T.J. Ford PG Steve Blake
Jarrett Jack SG Brandon Roy
Marquis Daniels SF Nicholas Batum
Troy Murphy PF LaMarcus Aldridge
Roy Hibbert C Joel Przybilla

The Indiana Pacers play their final midweek West Coast game tonight (YAY!) when they travel up the coast to take on the Portland Trail Blazers. Unfortunately, former Lawrence North gentle giant, Greg Oden will be watching along with the rest of us. Oden's been tending to a pesky knee problem that has him indefinitely sidelined.

As for the Blazers who will play, the matchups don't favor the Pacers. Yes, Brandon Roy will be a nightmare but I'm more concerned with LaMarcus Aldrige roaming free as a big, athletic PF who can get out and run when he wants.

Considering the Pacers won last night at Sacramento, maybe they'll start playing to their schedule. At this point, I've given up trying to figure out this team, but on a back-to-back, against a tough and versatile team like the Blazers, I'm looking for effort more so than a win. The Pacers came out and played well in Sacramento and finished the game strong, but against a team like Portland, the lapses they had in the second half would've cost them a win.

Danny Granger isn't expected to play tonight, so we'll see if he continues an early roll out of his Spring fashion collection.

For a Portland perspective, check out Blazers Edge. Great post here on the impact of experience on team defense. Offers a little hope for the Pacers and also helps explain why those veteran Pacer teams of the late 90's without many standout individual defenders were nonetheless solid at the defensive end.

Gameday Reading

  • Jeff Rabjohns reports on the Pacers getting off to a good start on the road.
  • Larry Bird is travelling with the team and discusses the technical impact to the team's long term plans now that Mike Dunleavy faces surgery and an uncertain future.
  • Sam Amick reports on the new look Kings offering the same old results.
  • Jeff has a Sleepless in Sacramento version of Pacers Insider with some JOB praise for Travis Diener and Jarrett Jack looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in Portland.

Leave your thoughts and observations in the comments.