If the Indiana Pacers come away from tonight's game feeling anything, it should be inspiration. Inspiration because they were given the opportunity to witness firsthand what happens when you make the shots you are supposed to make.
As Indiana progresses through this season, they are going to have to find rhythm shooting the ball. They have been fortunate thus far to have a winning record, despite not shooting the ball very well. The 76ers, on the other hand, have shot the ball well, and their record indicates as much. The trend continued tonight in Philadelphia as the 76ers defeated the Indiana Pacers 96-86.
It wasn't a horrific night for the Pacers by any means. They were dealt blows before the game started with Danny Granger out with food poisoning and George Hill still recovering from his injury sustained in hard foul during the Charlotte game Saturday night.
Outside of not having Hill and Granger, it was a very typical night for the Pacers, shooting percentage and all. The Pacers finished shooting 36 percent on the night while the 76ers shot 50 percent. The Pacers could not make the shot when they needed to while the 76ers made the shots they should have made and it made all the difference. Most importantly, it made a 10-point difference.
The 76ers were led in scoring by Andre Iguodala (20 PTS, 9 REB), who just missed a double-double. Philadelphia finished the evening with six players in double figures and played a heck of a game. They were physical when they needed to be, and made the wide open shots that were given to them all night.
The Pacers, on the other hand, had a hard time taking what the defense was giving them. Throughout the night they were given opportunities to get back into the game but they failed to connect on shots when they mattered. Despite not having George Hill or Danny Granger, the Pacers had five players in double figures led by Roy Hibbert (19 PTS, 8 REB).
This game signified a great opportunity for the young Paul George to step up and showcase his ability in a time where his team needed him. He played a very average game and looked more like the rookie of 2011 than he did the long-range sniper he has looked at times this season. George finished with 13 points on the night.
Philadelphia took a small lead early, and continued to lead throughout the night. Each time the Pacers inched closer, it seemed as though the 76ers made that shot that took the Pacers momentum away.
Philadelphia led by five at the end of the first quarter, and the teams played even through the second.
Over the course of the second half, the 76ers simply made a few more shots than the Pacers and ultimately extended their lead to 10 points, and the Pacers couldn't keep up.
While the Pacers certainly did not play their best game of the season, enough can't be said about the effort show by the Philadelphia 76ers. With this win they move to 7-2 on the season, and they played a great game against a tough Pacers team. They are off to their best start in 11 seasons, and are sitting alone atop the Atlantic division. There is a lot to be proud of in Philadelphia moving forward in this found 2012 season.
The Pacers (6-3) will look to get their starting five back united against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday Night in Indiana. Atlanta, like Philadelphia, is a team that is off to a good start and will be coming into Indiana with confidence.
Look for Danny Granger to return to the lineup Wednesday night, and look for the Pacers to try and rebound against another Eastern Conference challenger.