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IC Cold Links: Pacers Exhale After Beating Heat, Stumble Against Nets

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Human nature dictated that the Indiana Pacers couldn't help be experience a mental and physical exhale after a strong effort on Monday night to beat the Miami Heat. So it is easy to see how they came out light on energy and execution against the New Jersey Nets.

The problem is, a top team in the NBA, which the Pacers strive to be, fights through the malaise to fight for a win. The Pacers have done that against sub-.500 teams quite a bit this year but this time Deron Williams took the fight to the Pacers when it mattered and there was no response from the banana suits. Stark reminder that this team has far from arrived.

The Pacers will have another mental and physical challenge ahead of them tonight as they face the Washington Wizards at BLF, a team that nearly beat the Pacers just last week in a similar situation to what the Pacers faced against the Nets. The Wiz just didn't have Deron Williams.

Check out the links after the jump.