Schedule Gives Indiana Pacers a Chance to Right the Ship

By Jay Neal
Roy Hibbert Pacers
Mike DiNovo – USA TODAY Sports

Throughout an NBA season, teams get opportunities to go on winning streaks thanks to fortuitous scheduling. The Indiana Pacers (10-11) have been presented with such a chance this week that could turn their season around.

Indiana hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-17) tonight to start a three game stretch against teams who the Pacers should have a legitimate shot to beat. The Cavs come into Indianapolis on the second night of a back-to-back after their 100-94 win over the Lakers at home. Cleveland has Kyrie Irving back in the fold after recovering from an broken finger, but Indiana hasn’t played since Sunday and has the necessary parts to outclass the Cavs. Of course, Indiana has not proved to be the type of team that can beat the bad teams easily. The Pacers only have one win by double figures this season.

Indiana stays home Friday to face a Philadelphia 76ers (12-9) team that has lost three of its last five games. Other than the much improved Jrue Holiday, no one else on the Sixers should give the blue and gold nightmares. The Pacers fly north to take on the Detroit Pistons (7-17) Saturday in a match-up of old Central Division rivals. The Pistons have lost six of their last eight games and will also be on the second of a back-to-back.

It is a challenging three games in four nights stretch, but if the Pacers want to be the team they projected themselves to be before the season, this is the chance to show it. Indiana talked a big game in the preseason. The team spoke of building on last season’s playoff success, progressing to the next level and contending for a championship. Well, championship-type teams don’t struggle with a week like this. They put their foot down and find a way to get three wins. The Pacers can’t let opportunities like these go to waste if they want to have the type of season they, and their fans, expected.

Follow Jay Neal on Twitter @JayNilla

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