The Jazz should be equally motivated after getting run over by the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. The Jazz also have a measure of revenge to exact after their performance against the Pacers back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in mid-December. The Pacers ran past Utah in that game while holding the Jazz to just 31 first-half points.
The Pacers will face a different beast this time around in one of the harshest road environments in the league. But with two full days off, the Pacers should be rested and prepared to throw a strong effort at the Jazz. It should be interesting to see if Paul George can come up with a good performance on the road, where he has struggled overall this season, while trying not to go overboard in showing why he made the All-Star game.
In the end, the formula for the Pacers remains simple. They need to defend at a league-leading level to give themselves a chance to win and then find a way to generate enough offense to earn the win. That will require avoiding early foul trouble which was a factor in taking the life out of the team in Portland.
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