When the Pacers played the undefeated Warriors at the Fieldhouse in early December, I really liked the Pacers chances to give the Dubs their first loss. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for those hopes to fade.
The Pacers were up 21-15 less than six minutes into the first quarter. Man, was that fun. It was also way to fast and before the end of the quarter, the Dubs zoomed past the Pacers via a 22-0 run to lead 44-28. The offensive assault was jaw dropping.
Now the Pacers get their last chance at the Warriors in a nothing-to-lose-take-a-big-swing game at ORACLE Arena where the Dubs are still unbeaten. The scheduling circumstances for this game would be perfect, if only the Pacers were healthy enough to take advantage, let alone playing at a higher level of late.
The Pacers have had two full days off while the Warriors return home for their first game after a three-game road trip where they continued to impress by strolling into enemy gyms and destroying both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in their last two games.
Oh, and their next game on Monday night? Just the first of four epic encounters remaining this season with the San Antonio Spurs. Talk about a trap game special.
Unfortunately, the Pacers will miss three key veterans in the playing rotation with George Hill, Rodney Stuckey and Ian Mahinmi unable to play. Mahinmi is questionable but even if he tries to give his balky ankle a go, expecting much out of him would be a stretch. Oh, and Draymond Green will be playing his first game after hearing how he should be an All-Star starter but isn't for 24 hours. That makes the task at hand for the Pacers simply daunting.
It also means the youngins will get a baptism by fire. Myles Turner spoke about the game on the Blue and Gold Breakdown and mentioned the "opportunity" the game presented to take a shot at the champs. No doubt that is the theme Frank Vogel and staff are hammering home in preparing for the Warriors. For Turner, Joe Young and Glenn Robinson III, the experience should be fantastic, even if the end result isn't.
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