Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pacers 102, Bucks 100: W Earned the Hard Way

The Pacers were smiling after a long, strange trip to Milwaukee ended with a win, 102-100. Fortunately, they don't give style points for Ws in the NBA because this one wasn't flashy. But what the Pacers lacked in style they made up for in grit and heart.
The Pacers were forced to shake up their starting line up against the Bucks and were ambushed right out of the gate. Al Harrington's back flared up causing him to miss the game, so Jeff Foster started the game at Center. Marquis Daniels' solid play last night and Jack's nagging hand issues had them swap roles. They actually seemed to take that literally as 'Quis struggled shooting and Jack seemed to find his stroke coming off the bench. Jack played the bulk of the second half minutes hitting some big shots and playing solid defense.

As a whole the Pacers shot poorly (AGAIN!) and had to rely on every other facet of the game to scrap and claw their way back into the game after falling behind by as much as 17 in the first half. Ironically, with so many errant shots, the Pacers rode the 3-ball success of Stephen Jackson and Danny Granger in the second half to take over the lead. JO continued his shooting struggles but made up for it on defense hitting the boards and blocking 8 shots! To his credit he had a strong move for a bucket with under two minutes to play to help the Pacers hang on in the end.

Several reserves stepped in and played a roll in digging out from the early deficit. Now with a couple of days off, the Pacers can catch their breath at 5-5 and get ready to face these same Bucks at Conseco Fieldhouse.

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