Indiana Pacers vs. Philadelphia 76ers Preview: Fight Night in Philly

G. HealyCorrespondent IIJanuary 9, 2012

Danny Granger scored 27 pts in his last meeting with Philly
Danny Granger scored 27 pts in his last meeting with PhillyElsa/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers are two teams who are headed in the same direction.

When they aren't facing each other, there has to be a mutual respect between franchises. Both teams are full of young up-and-comers, both teams are off to their best starts in recent memory and both are struggling to find relevancy in a league dominated teams such as the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls and by whatever is going on in New York City.

Tonight, the Pacers and Sixers will face off in the city of brotherly love.

The Pacers come into tonight's contest on the heels of two victories over the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats. The 76ers are riding a four-game win streak and find themselves sitting atop the Atlantic Division, a game and a half ahead of the New York Knicks.

Indiana has struggled to find consistency so far this season.

While their 6-2 record indicates a team operating at a high level, they are still not playing up to their capabilities. Their shooting percentage is still not where it should be, and the team has found ways to win amongst a poor start from Danny Granger.

Despite his struggles, Granger leads the Pacers in scoring with 14 points per game. His shooting percentage continues to hover around 30%, which is something the Pacers hope will start to rise as the season progresses.

For Philadelphia, they are led by 6th-year point guard Lou Williams, who has posted 17 points per game so far this season.

With Granger not playing well, Philadelphia knows Indiana will expect their big power forwards David West and Tyler Hansbroough to help pick up the slack, with Roy Hibbert playing at a high level to start the season, as well.

Philadelphia is off to their franchise's best start in 11 years, and is looking to win their fifth straight game for the first time in two years. Both franchise's have high expectations this season following several years of little or no expectations.

As the season progresses, these two teams quite possibly could end up competing for a three- or four-seed in the Eastern Conference this spring.

Indiana has won seven out of the last ten games in Philadelphia. They are hopeful tonight will continue that winning trend.

The game tips off tonight at 7:00 PM.