The last time the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets met, it was during a five-games-in-seven-nights stretch for the Pacers. The Pacers finished that stretch 5-0, which included a 96-91 defeat of the Nets. While the Pacers aren’t on a crazy schedule this time around, they should have no trouble handling the mess that is the Brooklyn Nets.
When the Nets traded for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry during the offseason, many thought they would easily contend in the Eastern Conference. Instead, they’ve been an injury-riddled squad who just lost their All-Star center –Brook Lopez – for the rest of the year. At 9-17, the Nets scare no one except for their fans and owner as it appears they are destined to miss out on the playoffs and a top pick in this year’s highly anticipated draft.
After back-to-back 20-plus point victories, the Pacers will be looking to add the Nets to that list. Since Danny Granger returned last Friday, the Pacers are 2-0, have outscored their opponents by 60 points and their bench has scored 40-plus in each game. The Pacers bench was averaging 24.5 points per game through 26 games, not including Sunday night’s game.
It would be tough to say Granger has nothing to do with the Pacer bench playing so well right now, but it could also be because they’ve faced second and third-tier players at the end of both games. Either way, the Pacers are on a roll and looking to recapture the league’s best record. Unfortunately for the Nets, they stand no chance of defeating the Pacers at this point and can only hope they don’t become part of the Pacers new win-margin streak.
Predictions: Pacers win by 18, Paul George score 26, Roy Hibbert goes off for 20 and someone on the Nets breaks a hip.