The last time the Indiana Pacers traveled to the land of cheese to face the Milwaukee Bucks, the game was over midway through the first quarter. Indiana trailed by as many as 18 points in the opening period, by 27 in the second and by 32 in the third. Needless to say, the Bucks’ 99-85 victory wasn’t indicative of how thoroughly they beat down the Pacers. Indiana fell three games below. 500 for the first time this season.
A month later, the Pacers have a chance to improve to three games above .500 with a return trip to Milwaukee tonight. It’s the first of four games in five nights for Indiana, with three coming on the road. After tonight’s game, the Pacers face the Utah Jazz at home before heading back out on the road for games at the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Hornets over the weekend.
Despite the schedule, the Pacers have another great opportunity this week to get multiple wins and climb up in the standings. I don’t expect them to win all four games in five nights, especially with three games on the road. However, the teams they face are at or below Indiana’s level.
The Pacers have a suffocating defense, which is on a historic pace in field goal percentage allowed. Roy Hibbert is nursing a bruised left thigh, but should be able to go this week. Lance Stephenson is still out with a sprained ankle, so Indiana should ride with the emerging Eastern Conference Player of the Week Paul George, a consistent David West and great defense to come away with at least a 2-2 record this week.