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IC Cold Links: Pacers Winning Ugly, Always A Beautiful Sight

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The rushed preseason and last second roster shuffling throughout the NBA has forced the winners of the games so far to endure their own stench-filled stretches of play and still find a way to win. That was certainly the case for the Indiana Pacers on Monday night as they leaned heavily on rebounding and effort at both ends of the floor to put away the Detroit Pistons.

That's a good thing. With all things being equal, there are no style points for W's so the Pacers have to find a way to win, which they did unlike the recent past, making that win a beautiful sight to behold.

There were plenty of good things to lean on, as well. Paul George playing like he wants to make a difference instead of worrying about getting in the way. His third quarter block, save and take for a smooth finish was as spectacular as it was smooth.

David West led the Pacers poor shooting night, but the bulk of those misses were good shots from areas in his wheelhouse. His presence on the floor was so assertive, no one needed to question whether they should step up, instead they just had to follow his lead.

Danny Granger struggled at times, but found ways to contribute and still score 16 points. His drive, draw and dish to Roy Hibbert was sweet, but his reaction, enjoying how he set up his teammate, even sweeter. That play symbolized how this Pacers team can succeed by utilizing selfless play and trusting teammates to make plays. That's an environment Hibbert can thrive in to hopefully even out the wild swings in his play.

As with Paul George's play on the court, the difference in the team's presence and approach on the court was hard to describe but so obvious to observe in comparison to the bulk of last season. But in the end, the Pacers took care of business as they should against that Pistons team. We'll see if this team is truly different by the way they back up opening night in the next few days. Then we'll worry about how they stack up against better teams.

But for now, the Pacers sit alone atop the Central Division, so enjoy it.

After the jump, plenty of links with all of the full opening night stories including Eric Gordon hitting a game-winner for the New Orleans Hornets.