Sounds like a great way to tip off the second half of the season and would also be a step forward for this team which struggles to handle even the slightest bit of success. It always seems strange to see a flat performance after a win considering there is no room to exhale in the East and often times, winning one game is not really an impressive measure of success.
So the Pacers find themselves in L.A. on the front half of a back-to-back, with a rough second game scheduled in Utah on Saturday night. Taking care of business against the Lakers allows the Pacers to play with house money against the Jazz, instead of desperately trying to avoid yet another slide backwards.
As we learned in the first meeting, the Lakers have plenty of fire power to heat up and beat the a Pacers team that isn't on point. While the L.A. bench, led by Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson, killed the Pacers in their first meeting, that reserve unit has not been as strong of late which is a big reason the Lakers are 5-21 since Dec. 1.
But it is up to the Pacers to bring the energy and effort to handle the Lakers regardless of well L.A. plays. Hopefully the Pacers will rise to the occasion with the big stage at Staples and playing on ESPN.
The Pacers are still missing Rodney Stuckey (hammy) while the Lakers will be without Larry Nance, Jr. (knee).
Pacers vs. Lakers