Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Pacers 91, Hawks 72: Pacers Muscle Past Hawks

The Pacers eventually overwhelmed an ailing Hawks team to record an easy, drama-free W, 91-72. There haven't been many nights like this for the Pacers this season and it came at an opportune time. Jermaine O'Neal was carted off the practice court Monday but unless he couldn't stand upright, JO had to play Tuesday night after complaining about the lack of consistent play from the rest of the team. To his credit, he showed up at less than 100% and made an impact. He only had ten points but made his presence felt on defense with four blocks. Other items of interest:
  • The first half was nothing short of ugly. Neither team shot the ball well and it wasn't necessarily due to strong defense. Missed bunnies right around the hoop continue to come in bunches for the Pacers. Jeff Foster was keeping track and mentioned he alone left ten points on the court with easy misses.
  • The Hawks were indeed ailing with Josh Smith sidelined by a back injury. Also, Joe Johnson was sick and only able to play 24 minutes and certainly didn't play his normal game.
  • While Foster had trouble scoring, he had no problem tracking down the ball. He had 7 offensive rebounds and 17 overall boards for the game. Plus, he kept plenty of loose balls alive and rounded up three steals.
  • Al Harrington "went Artest" like he promised, getting off 16 shots. After clanking his first seven shots he found the range to finish the game with 18 points and a couple of 3-balls.
  • With a comfortable 4th quarter lead, JO was able to head to the locker room to start treating his ankle before the team's flight to Boston.
  • The Pacers have a tough back-to-back game tomorrow against Boston since the Celts were resting at home while the Pacers were playing.
  • The Celts pounded the Pacers, 114-88 on Nov. 15th as the Pacers folded in the second half.

(Photo: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

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