The Indiana Pacers left Indianapolis on Monday afternoon, in preparation for a three-game stretch in California. Expect Indiana to do more California scheming than dreaming, for a road trip that could help to define the positive or the negative aspects for this team in the early parts of this season.
On Tuesday, the Pacers begin their tour of California by playing the soap opera that is the Los Angeles Lakers. After that, the Pacers have a surprising lull in action on the court, having to wait three more days, before playing another away game against the Sacramento Kings. The next night, the Pacers finish up their trip, by traveling to play against the Golden State Warriors.
The Lakers and the Warriors games will be especially personal for Indiana. Assistant head coach Brian Shaw has been shunned twice for the head coaching job in Los Angeles. The Warriors are coached by former Indiana Pacer, Mark Jackson, who was one of the best point guards in Pacers history.
It’s good for this team to get a lot of their west coast away games out of the way in one long stretch, but the Pacers still must show up and play hard. As this roller coaster season rolls on, the Pacers find themselves at an early cross road. If they leave California with two wins or more, then things will look prosperous when the Pacers head back to their side of the country. If Indiana loses two or more games during this road trip out west, then things could once again be looking ugly early for the Pacers.