Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pacers Preview

Tonight’s game versus the Pacers is a lot bigger then it seems. First, the Blazers have not beaten the Pacers in 5 years. They are winless in the teams last 9 matchups. No one on the current Blazer roster has defeated the Pacers in a Blazers uniform. That is a hurdle that would nice to jump. Secondly, after a Denver loss last night, if the Blazers win tonight, they will be ½ a game behind Denver for the lead in the Northwest Division. That means when we meet Denver tomorrow night at Denver on TNT, it could be for the lead in the NW Division. So not too add too much pressure, but the importance of tonight’s game cannot be understated.

Danny Granger will be out for tonight’s game as he continues to sit out with strained ligaments in his foot. Injuries will also ruin a quasi homecoming for Mike Dunlevey Jr. He is out with bone spurs in his knee and is most likely going to be out for the rest of the year. However, that does not mean that the Pacers are just going to roll over and quit. With Granger out, Jarrett Jack has stepped up in a big way. Last week Jarrett had the highest point total average of his career at 24.2 points. I always liked Jack as a person, but his on court performance made it difficult for him to stay. It is good to see him doing well and I look forward to welcoming him back tonight.

Another threat for the Pacers is Troy Murphy, who has been crushing. How do I know this? Well, he is on my fantasy team, so I get the pleasure of seeing his output every game, and the guy is a beast. He can shoot and he boards like crazy. Przy will have a hard time getting out to him on the three point line, but he is going to have to. Maybe Nate will go small with Aldridge at the 5 and Outlaw at the 4. Either way it will be interesting to see how they neutralize Murphy’s shooting ability.

Keys to the Game

1. Control the Paint
Much like we did against the Spurs, we need to keep guys out of the lane. TJ Ford and Jack are both good at getting to the rim, so we need to make sure to keep them out of there and force them to shoot.
2. Play Our Game
Indiana ranks pretty much in the middle of the pack in just about everything, so what we need for a win, is to do what we do best. Get good looks, and rebound. If we play to our strengths we will walk away with a win.
3. Get Out Front Early
This is one of those games that we can put away early if we get out in front by a lot and make the Pacers believe they have no chance. This will go along way in determining if it’s a close game down the stretch or a blowout.
Gambler’s Corner

Blazers -10
Over/Under 208

I am going to go with the Pacers and the Under. I think the Blazers will win, but I think it is going to be closer then 10 points. Also I see Portland trying to run early, but unless we shoot 61% in the first half like we did on Sunday against San Antonio, it will be hard for us to get over 208.


  1. That pic you have of the Pacers has Jermaaaaaine on it.. C'mon now.. :-) I take back my bet now. We are playing like Poop!