Indiana Pacers 2012-13 Schedule: Monthly Breakdown and W-L Predictions

Mike B.Correspondent IJuly 30, 2012

Indiana Pacers 2012-13 Schedule: Monthly Breakdown and W-L Predictions

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    How will the Indiana Pacers perform next season?

    They truly overachieved last season, grabbing the third seed in the Eastern Conference and taking the Miami Heat all the way to six games in the second round of the playoffs.

    The Pacers are absolutely one of the deepest teams in the Association. Their starting five consists of forwards Danny Granger and David West, center Roy Hibbert and guards Paul George and George Hill.

    And the bench includes the likes of Tyler Hansbrough, D.J. Augustin, Ian Mahinmi, Gerald Green and Lance Stephenson.

    Here’s a look at how the 2012-13 season could go for the Blue and Gold.

October/November Schedule

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    October 31 @ Toronto Raptors

    November 2 @ Charlotte Bobcats

    November 3 vs. Sacramento Kings

    November 5 @ San Antonio Spurs

    November 7 @ Atlanta Hawks

    November 9 @ Minnesota Timberwolves

    November 10 vs. Washington Wizards

    November 13 vs. Toronto Raptors

    November 14 @ Milwaukee Bucks

    November 16 vs. Dallas Mavericks

    November 18 at New York Knicks

    November 19 @ Washington Wizards

    November 21 vs. New Orleans Hornets

    November 23 vs. San Antonio Spurs

    November 27 @ Los Angeles Lakers

    November 30 @ Sacramento Kings

Key October/November Games

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    November 5 @ San Antonio Spurs

    After beginning the season against three teams that aren’t expected to make the playoffs, the Pacers face the Spurs, who finished with the top record in the league last season.

    Pacers starting point guard George Hill squares off against his former team for the first time this season.

    November 16 vs. Dallas Mavericks  

    In this game, Darren Collison—who was traded to Dallas this offseason—returns to Indianapolis for the first time.

    Pacer fans also get to see perennial All-Star Dirk Nowitzki make his only visit of the season.      

    November 27 @ Los Angeles Lakers

    The Pacers head out west to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at the famous Staples Center.

    Will Indy be able to stop the new “Big Four” of  Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and new Laker Steve Nash?

    October/November W-L Prediction: 9-7

    Wins: Bobcats, Kings, Timberwolves, Wizards (twice), Raptors, Mavericks, Hornets, Spurs

    Losses: Raptors, Spurs, Hawks, Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, Kings

Preview and Predictions for October/November

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of October/November

    Roy Hibbert vs. Andrew Bynum makes for a great matchup at the center position.

    Hibbert was a first-time All-Star last season, while Bynum is perhaps the league's best center not named Dwight Howard.

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for October/November

    In November, the Pacers play the Spurs twice and the Lakers once. It would be ideal for Indy to win at least two of these contests.      

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for October/November

    The Pacers play Toronto, Sacramento and Washington three times each in October/November. It would be a shame to see them lose too many game to these lottery squads.

December Schedule

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    December 1 @ Golden State Warriors

    December 4 @ Chicago Bulls

    December 5 vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    December 7 vs. Denver Nuggets

    December 9 @ Oklahoma City Thunder

    December 12 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    December 14 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

    December 15 @ Detroit Pistons

    December 18 @ Milwaukee Bucks

    December 19 vs. Utah Jazz

    December 21 @ Cleveland Cavaliers

    December 22 @ New Orleans Hornets

    December 26 vs. Chicago Bulls

    December 28 vs. Phoenix Suns

    December 29 @ Atlanta Hawks

    December 31 vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Key December Games

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    December 4 @ Chicago Bulls

    The Pacers stroll down I-65 to Chicago as they take on the rival Bulls. With Derrick Rose injured, the Pacers should be able to win this one.     

    December 5 vs. Portland Trail Blazers

    Roy Hibbert—a restricted free agent this summer—signed an offer sheet with Portland before Indiana matched it as expected. This game will see Hibbert play against the team he could've left Nap Town for.  

    December 9 @ Oklahoma City Thunder

    Indiana goes up against the Western Conference champion Thunder in what should be an exciting game. This will certainly be a test for the boys from the Hoosier state.   

    December W-L Prediction: 10-6

    Wins: Bulls (twice), Blazers, Nuggets, Cavaliers (twice), 76ers, Pistons, Jazz, Suns

    Losses: Warriors, Thunder, Bucks, Hornets, Hawks, Grizzlies

Previews and Predictions for December

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of December

    Indiana vs. OKC features a nice small forward matchup between Danny Granger and Kevin Durant. Granger can shoot the lights out, while Durant is arguably the best scorer in the game today.

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for  December

    If the Pacers can find a way to knock off the Thunder and beat Chicago twice, December could prove to be a nice month. Actually, just beating OKC would make it a nice month. 

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for December

    Losing both games against Cleveland and another one against Detroit would be miserable for Indiana. The Pacers have to beat the weaker teams in the league.  

January Schedule

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    January 2 vs. Washington Wizards

    January 4 @ Boston Celtics

    January 5 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    January 8 vs. Miami Heat

    January 10 vs. New York Knicks

    January 12 vs. Charlotte Bobcats

    January 13 @ Brooklyn Nets

    January 15 @ Charlotte Bobcats

    January 16 @ Orlando Magic

    January 18 vs. Houston Rockets

    January 21 @ Memphis Grizzlies

    January 23 @ Portland Trail Blazers

    January 26 @ Utah Jazz

    January 28 @ Denver Nuggets

    January 30 vs. Detroit Pistons

Key January Games

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    January 4 @ Boston Celtics

    The Pacers' second game of 2013 comes against the Celtics, a team that's expected to be a title contender next season.

    Both clubs will likely battle for the second-best record in the East behind Miami.

    January 8 vs. Miami Heat

    Speaking of Miami, the Pacers battle against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Co. four days after facing a tough Celtics squad. The Pacers will look to get a little revenge in their first contest versus the Heat since the playoffs.   

    January 16 @ Orlando Magic

    Indiana squares off against the Magic, the team that it knocked off in the first round of the 2012 postseason.

    Will Dwight Howard still be in Orlando for this game?

    January W-L Prediction: 10-5

    Wins: Wizards, Bucks, Heat, Knicks, Bobcats (twice), Rockets, Jazz, Nuggets, Pistons

    Losses: Celtics, Nets, Magic, Grizzlies, Trail Blazers

Previews and Predictions for January

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of January

    Danny Granger tried hard to get into the head of LeBron James during the playoffs. Now, these two small forwards match up for the first time this season.   

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for January

    The best-case scenario for Indy would be beating both Boston and Miami, arguably the East's two best teams. It can be done, but it won't be easy.

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for January

    Losing to the lowly Bobcats twice in one month would be a nightmare. The Pacers would never be able to live that down—that's for sure.

February Schedule

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    February 1 vs. Miami Heat

    February 5 vs. Atlanta Hawks

    February 6 @ Philadelphia 76ers

    February 8 vs. Toronto Raptors

    February 11 vs. Brooklyn Nets

    February 13 vs. Charlotte Bobcats

    February 20 vs. New York Knicks

    February 22 vs. Detroit Pistons

    February 23 @ Detroit Pistons

    February 26 vs. Golden State Warriors

    February 28 vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Key February Games

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    February 1 vs. Miami Heat

    This will be Round 2 for the Pacers vs. Heat. Can Indiana get a W in this huge home game?

    February 11 vs. Brooklyn Nets

    Deron Williams leads his team into Indianapolis to take on Roy Hibbert's crew. You never know, Dwight Howard just might appear in this game as a Net.  

    February 28 vs. Los Angeles Clippers

    Indy sports fans get to see the high-flying Blake Griffin for his only trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Fans will also get  the chance to see one of the league's best point guards in Chris Paul.

    February W-L Prediction: 10-1

    Wins: Heat, Hawks, Sixers, Raptors, Nets, Bobcats, Knicks, Pistons, Pistons, Warriors

    Losses: Clippers

Previews and Predictions for February

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of February

    When the Pacers face Detroit in back-to-back games, Roy Hibbert will battle rookie big man Andre Drummond. The former UConn Husky should have his hands full trying to check Hibbert.    

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for February

    Beating both the Heat and the Clippers would certainly make the Pacers resemble an elite NBA team. It would be difficult pulling off such a feat, though.

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for February

    Falling to the Pistons in consecutive nights would be a bummer. Years ago, this was a heated rivalry, but not so much anymore.  

March Schedule

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    March 1 @ Toronto Raptors

    March 3 vs. Chicago Bulls

    March 6 vs. Boston Celtics

    March 8 @ Orlando Magic

    March 10 @ Miami Heat

    March 13 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

    March 15 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    March 16 @ Philadelphia 76ers

    March 18 @ Cleveland Cavaliers

    March 19 vs. Orlando Magic

    March 22 vs. Milwaukee Bucks

    March 23 @ Chicago Bulls

    March 25 vs. Atlanta Hawks

    March 27 @ Houston Rockets

    March 28 @ Dallas Mavericks

    March 30 @ Phoenix Suns

Key March Games

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    March 10 @ Miami Heat

    After playing at home twice versus Miami, the Pacers fly down to South Beach for this one. All eyes will be on this new Eastern Conference rivalry.   

    March 15 vs. Los Angeles Lakers

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will be packed full of fans wanting to see the Lakers' Hall of Fame backcourt of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash. Don't be surprised to see the Pacers pick up the victory.

    March 23 @ Chicago Bulls

    Pacers vs. Bulls is "must-see" TV in the Midwest. Hopefully, Derrick Rose will be off the injured list in time for this contest.

    March W-L Prediction: 7-9

    Wins: Raptors, Timberwolves, Lakers, Magic, Hawks, Rockets, Mavericks

    Losses: Bulls (twice), Celtics, Magic, Heat, Sixers, Cavaliers, Bucks, Suns

Previews and Predictions for March

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of March

    Roy Hibbert vs. Dwight Howard could've been placed here, but Tyler Hansbrough vs. Antawn Jamison (Lakers) is worth watching as well.

    The two North Carolina legends should both prove to be valuable role players off the bench for their respective teams.  

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for March

    Can the Pacers beat the Heat, Celtics, Lakers and Bulls in the month of March? If so, fans in Indiana will be pumped, no doubt about it. 

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for March

    Getting beaten by those four teams would be the worst-case scenario. Losing to teams like the Cavaliers and the Suns wouldn't be too great, either.   

April Schedule

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    April 1 @ Los Angeles Clippers

    April 5 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    April 6 @ Washington Wizards

    April 9 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

    April 12 vs. Brooklyn Nets

    April 14 @ New York Knicks

    April 16 @ Boston Celtics

    April 19 vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Key April Games

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    April 5 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    OKC won't make its way to Indianapolis until the final month of the regular season. This should be an entertaining contest.  

    April 14 @ New York Knicks

    The Pacers will travel to the great Madison Square Garden to take on Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and the Knickerbockers. This could end up being a battle between two of the East's top four teams. 

    April 16 @ Boston Celtics

    The deep and talented Pacers will appear on TNT as they head to Beantown to face the Celtics. It will be just the second time this season that they'll be seen on the network. 

    April W-L Prediction: 7-1

    Wins: Clippers, Thunder, Wizards, Cavaliers, Nets, Knicks, Sixers

    Losses: Celtics

Previews and Predictions for April

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    Best One-on-One Matchup of April

    April's best matchup involves forwards Danny Granger and Carmelo Anthony. Both guys are the top scoring options for their respective clubs.

    Pacers' Best-Case Scenario for April

    Five of the Pacers' eight opponents on the April schedule reached the playoffs last season. Having a winning record in the month would be huge.   

    Pacers' Worst-Case Scenario for April 

    Losing to Cleveland and Washington—two teams that likely won't make the playoffs—would be the worst-case scenario. That just wouldn't be acceptable.  

Final Analysis

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    Final Record: 53-29

    Expect the Pacers to finish with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference behind the reigning champion Miami Heat and the re-tooled Boston Celtics.

    It would be the first time Indiana has reached the 50-win mark since 2003-04, back when Reggie Miller was still in town.

    Roy Hibbert makes his second consecutive trip to the All-Star game, and Danny Granger receives the honor for the second time in his career.

    Meanwhile, Tyler Hansbrough is named the league's Sixth Man of the Year, edging Oklahoma City's James Harden and Boston's Jason Terry.