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IC Cold Links: Pacers Face New-Look Wizards; Foster Stays Home In Indiana

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The Indiana Pacers begin an interesting stretch of the schedule coming up an upbeat performance against the Los Angeles Clippers when they visit the nation's capital to take on the Washington Wizards. This game is the first of three games in three nights and four game in five nights which wraps up with the Miami Heat at the Fieldhouse on Monday.

While the Pacers looked refreshed and played re-energized after adding Leandro Barbosa, the Wizards received even a bigger boost from their recent acquisition of Nene Hilario from the Denver Nuggets. Nene debuted last night to rave reviews with 22 points and 10 rebounds in Washington's win over New Jersey. Amazing what having an adult in the front court can do for your a team.

The Pacers will have to bring the same defensive mindset they threw at the Clips because the Wiz can certainly get off if they're feeling comfortable. Should be interesting to see how Washington's season plays out since they are currently in great position for a top three lottery slot which is even more valuable this year. But they also have plenty of young guys who need the experience of winning. For now, I'm sure they'll take all of the W's they can get.

Of course, the Pacers won't have Jeff Foster in a suit on the bench after his retirement announcement yesterday. Mike Wells has a nice piece on Foster today after talking with him yesterday and found Foster ready to settle into his post-basketball life as a Hoosier.

"Indiana is home," he said. "A native Texan becoming a true Hoosier is something I never thought would happen 13 years ago."

Check out the rest of the links after the jump.

Pacers' Jeff Foster retires due to chronic back pain | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Hustling Cager Jeff Foster Retires | Hardwood Paroxysm

Pacers’ Jeff Foster announces retirement due to back issues | ProBasketballTalk

NBA Preview - Indiana Pacers at Washington Wizards - Mar 22, 2012 - CBSSports.com

Nene has big night in Wizards debut - Wizards Insider - The Washington Post

Wizards Vs. Nets Recap: Welcome To A New Nene-ra In Washington; Wizards Win, 108-89 - Bullets Forever

Video: Five things about Jamaal Tinsley ‘nutmegging’ Nazr Mohammed | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports

Video: Caron Butler cranks out a cool taunt of Tyler Hansbrough | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo! Sports