The perfect scenario was .3 seconds from playing out for the Indiana Pacers.
While the Pacers made final preparations while resting in their hotel in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia 76ers were putting in extra time down in Washington where they would suffer a 116-115 overtime loss to the Wizards. John Wall was absolutely ridiculous for the Wiz, contributing 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals on the night, but Cartier Martin played the hero role for Washington by nailing a contested 3-ball with .3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into extra time.
The Sixers had two possessions to close out the Wiz but couldn't do it on either chance, so they return to Philly to meet the Pacers for a re-match of Saturday night's game at the Fieldhouse. It would've been perfect had the Sixers expended all of that energy to collect their first win of the season. The Pacers might've been able to catch the Sixers exhaling to catch their breath. Instead, the Pacers will find a Sixers team desperate to get off the schneid and earn their first win.
The Pacers' best chance is to jump on the Sixers early which will undoubtedly make the home crowd restless. In Philly they'll have no problems voicing their displeasure with the poor start. A sour atmosphere combined with tired legs would make for a difficult night for the Sixers to play from behind.
Of course, that would require the Pacers' second unit to play better than they have thus far in the season. Philly's reserve guard Louis Williams has been arguably the team's best player. He lit up the Pacers in the second quarter on Saturday and had 30 last night off the bench.
It is always hard to win two games in a row against the same team, but this isn't the typical home-and-home situation considering Philly was in Washington last night. Considering the circumstances, the Pacers have a golden opportunity to extend their early season success. Now they just have to take advantage and do it.
After the jump, a few links of interest.
Offensive versatility helps Pacers' Danny Granger
Mike Wells reports on Danny Granger's efficient offensive start to the season.
Pacers-76ers Preview - Nov. 2, 2010 - NBA - CBSSports.com
A home-opening win over the Philadelphia 76ers has Indiana off to its best start in three years.
Is It Time To Panic Yet If Your a Sixers Fan? - SB Nation Philly
The team's first 0-4 start in nine years has some people already giving up hope.
- PhillyBurbs.com: Turner wary, but doesn't want to back down
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards
The Sixers were a second within getting their first win but couldn't close it out in regulation.
A Look at the First Week
Tim Donahue takes a deep dive into the numbers from the first three games. Interesting stuff as always, especially the results from +/- per playing stint numbers.
John Wall Will Teach You How To Dougie - SBNation.com
John Wall had fun before, during and after Washington's OT win over Philly.
NBA's hard line on pay cuts could lead to hard lesson - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball
Owners are looking to cut pay for all NBA players as part of a new collective bargaining agreement. But as TV ratings and interest soar, Ken Berger wants to know if owners recall the NHL's disastrous lockout.
From De La Soul to Eminem - RaptorsHQ Previews the Eastern Conference
From De La Soul to Eminem - Raptors HQ Previews the Eastern Conference comparing teams to classic rap records.