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IC Cold Links: Pacers Look To Bounce Back At New Jersey

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The Indiana Pacers are back in action on Monday night when they visit the New Jersey Nets for the second of four-straight road games. After dumping a New Year's Eve game in Detroit on Saturday evening, the Pacers need to find a winning formula quick with the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics looming on the schedule.

First, my apologies for the light writing load. After traveling over the holidays, I returned home to have my laptop go splat. I'm still working through issues and hope to have things resolved in a day or two, but it has definitely put a damper on the start of 2012.

As for the Pacers, their 3-1 start remains frustrating due to their struggles to get the pesky ball through the net. Of course, everything is magnified after a loss but the Pacers survived the first three games by making shots near the hoop while the sub-40% shooting percentages came from poor mid-range shooting, which for the Pacers is usually not a shot taken by design unless it is an open pick n pop for David West or Tyler Hansbrough.

The Pacers are last in the league in field goal percentage at 38.5% but the Nets are drafting right behind them at 38.8% so maintenance better fortify those rims in New Jersey before the tip tonight.

Looking at the first four games, the Pacers shot 53.4% (55-103) at the rim and 43.3% (26-60) from 3-9 feet. The Pacers are getting hurt by the worst shot in basketball from 16-23 feet since those are the longest two-point shots, making just 21.2% (18-85) of their shots in that zone. Not only that, but one in four shots has been taken from the clank zone.

So the search for more efficient shots continues and that is a matter of executing better on offense to keep finding shots in the paint or open shots from behind the arc.

Check out the links after the jump.