Coming off of a home win on Wednesday where they shot over 50% for the first time, and matched their largest margin of victory this season, the Indiana Pacers got a well-deserved day off on Thursday.
On Friday, the Pacers had to hit the road, for a set of back-to-back away games. After a 10-point victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers to start the weekend, the Pacers will wrap up their road trip with a Saturday night game against the New Orleans Hornets, which will mark their fourth game in five days.
The last time the Pacers played New Orleans, it took overtime for Indiana to pull out the victory at home. The Pacers have won nine of their last fourteen games since then, and five of their last six, but many of the victories have come against struggling teams. A big win in the big easy, after a second set of back-to-back games in one week, would prove beneficial for the confidence and growth of this exciting young Indiana squad.
Tests such as these will assist this team in the long run, helping Indiana to come together during the scrutiny of road trips and multiple games with little time off. Indiana is finally starting to show a killer instinct that could help mold this team into a formidable opponent in 2013 and beyond.
So what the Pacers will have to do, is to prove they can continually stomp on smaller teams with losing records, as well as step up in hostile territory to become giant killers, against teams bound for the playoffs.