Now this is a trend I can get used to.
The Indiana Pacers take down one of the NBA's elite teams on the road and all of the focus turns to the flaws of the elite team. Nevermind that team in blue and gold making it happen on the other side.
The Pacers took it to the Lakers last night and earned that W by out-playing the defending champs. Along the way, thanks to Roy Hibbert, the Pacers exposed the soft middle that the Lakers are playing with while they await Andrew Bynum's return. Pardon me if I don't shed a tear because the Lakers trotted out plenty of talent last night and were simply beaten.
That's cool, though. I don't expect anyone to think the Pacers are an elite team, nor do I think they are. But with their defensive efficiency moving around one point per 100 possessions, the Pacers defense is hanging out in elite company.
Kobe Bryant scored his 41, but it wasn't easy. He needed 33 shots to get it done which is the most field goal attempts for any of the nine 40-point games logged in the NBA this year. That stands in contrast with the nutty night Russell Westbrook threw at the Pacers in which he scored 43 points on only 24 FGAs.
I also get the sense that the Pacers are starting to believe in themselves and what they can do defensively. The confidence and results continue to feed each other as both grow in impressive fashion. My confidence remains day-to-day, though, so I can't wait to see if they can back up this win with a similar effort in Sacramento on Tuesday after celebrating this win in Hollywood.
After the jump, plenty of links with stories about the Pacers' win or in most cases, the Lakers' loss. Also includes a sweet look at Roy Hibbert's dunk late in the game to put the Pacers up by the winning margin.
- Box score
PACERS: GAME REWIND: PACERS 95, LAKERS 92
Game Rewind has analysis, highlights, notes, quotes and stats from the Pacers-Lakers game Sunday night in Los Angeles.
Pacers becoming harder to ignore
Bruno's latest Caught in the Web comments on the bold, early-season statement the Pacers are making which eventually should garner a little attention.
- Hibbert, Granger lead Pacers to stunning win | IndyStar.com Mike Wells reports on another strong road win by the Pacers, doing it with defense.
- AP: Pacers top Lakers 95-92 in 1st road win at Staples
NBA Playbook – Hibbert Gets Free In The Pain, Extends Pacers' Lead
Sebastian Pruiti breaks down Roy Hibbert's critical bucket late in the win last night and finds everyone on the court doing their part to make it happen.
The Pacers do it – again
Mike Wells shares his thoughts on the Pacers' early succes this season.
Lakers don't look up to the minutes in 95-92 loss to Indiana - Los Angeles Times
Mike Bresnahan reports on the Lakers looking worn out against the Pacers. Hmm, wonder if the Pacers had anything to do with that?
Lakers just middling around, but they could use some help in the middle
Mark Heisler finds the Lakers looking for help in the post after Roy Hibbert took advantage of the champs' soft middle.
Los Angeles Lakers' Phil Jackson frustrated by Andrew Bynum's lengthy absence - ESPN Los Angeles
Once again, the Pacers leave an elite team looking for answers.
Pacers Dahntay Jones enjoys presidential games
Mike Wells with a few nuggets on Rush starting, Artest checking in and Dahntay Jonesplaying some pick up ball with President Obama. Sweet!
Indiana Pacers Upset the Los Angeles Lakers in Staples Center
Jared Wade lays out the ways the Pacers' dominated play last night.
Lakers 92, Pacers 95: This Simply Will Not Do - Silver Screen and Roll
Kobe Bryant couldn't rescue a lazy and uninterested Laker team, which fell to the Indiana Pacers at home, 92 to 95.
Los Angeles Lakers showing flaws after consecutive losses - NBA News
FOXSports.coms Billy Witz says Los Angeles Lakers showing flaws after consecutive losses.
YouTube - Russell Westbrook MONSTER DUNK on Battier (Nov. 28, 2010)
Speaking of Westbrook, this is absolutely ridiculous.
- RIP Leslie Nielsen, Calling Strikes For The Real Angels Now - SBNation.com