The Indiana Pacers woke up Saturday morning in Michigan sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference standings after their 32-point win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.
The Pacers leap-frogged their way in to second place after the New York Knicks couldn't convert at crunch time and lost to the Toronto Raptors, 100-98.
A two-point game? I'm starting to forget what a close game feels like. I kid, of course, but the Pacers did make history with their 114-82 win over the Pistons by becoming the first NBA team to win their first two games immediately following the All-Star game by at least thirty points, according to Elias.
The Pacers are simply playing at a SMH level, with a stingy defense that refuses to give up anything easy. Even up thirty against Detroit, game over, the Pacers would rather take a foul than give up a layup. They can't be fun to play and opponents are starting to get that look in their eye that they don't have it in them to match the Pacers effort at both ends of the floor.
That defense is starting to fuel far better results on the offensive end as the Pacers are pushing the ball with more urgency (and confidence) in transition while making the extra pass or two in the half court. Oh, and the bench has hopped this wave of confidence and joined the fun to turn great starts into blowouts in the last two games.
It's always a chore to beat the same team two times in a row, let alone on the road for the second game. Still, the Pistons will have to show a monumental amount of pride and grit to rebound overnight from that loss. I imagine it was tough getting out of be this morning thinking what lies ahead.
Detroit can latch hope based on the Pacers lack of dominance on the road, though which remains the next step. Make teams feel defeated before they show up, even in their own building.
Check out the links:
Pistons at Pacers - Box score and highlights
Game Rewind: Pacers 114, Pistons 82 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
Growing into Beasts of the East? Pacers pick up second straight blowout win | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Another blowout for Pacers, this time by 32 over Pistons | 1070 The Fan – Opinion & Analysis
West helps Pacers rout Pistons 114-82 - AP
Pacers Weekly: Frank Vogel with Mark Boyle
Indiana 114, Detroit 82: Lawrence Frank says Pistons loss to Pacers 'total embarrassment' | Detroit Pistons | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
Pistons final score: Viacheslav Kravtsov's first career double double really not enough vs. Pacers - Detroit Bad Boys
Post-Game Grades: Pacers Make Pistons’ Parents Say "I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Disappointed" | 8 Points, 9 Seconds
Game Preview: Pacers at Pistons | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
ESPN - Elias Says: Sports Statistics - Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau - ESPN
Pacers: Sitting Stephenson was the right move by Vogel | Pacers Insider
Is the Pacers Paul George the NBA's best player under 22? | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Pacers notebook: Team stands pat at trade deadline, likes chemistry as is | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
NBA Scores: Knicks drop fourth in a row, Warriors overcome Spurs in OT - SBNation.com
Orlando's Warming Up, Has Sunny Forecast | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
George Rejects Stuckey | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
Green Gets Air | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS
NBA schedule: Clippers host Jazz, Hawks travel to Milwaukee - SBNation.com
Mark Cuban trolls Lakers with hard truth of NBA’s luxury tax | The Point Forward - SI.com