By phillipnaessens on August 23, 2014
Last season, the Indiana Pacers got off to a flying start, winning 15 out of their first 16 games. With the season ending injury to Paul George and Lance Stephenson now playing for the Charlotte Hornets, if the Pacers have any hopes of making the playoffs, a similar start is almost essential. Here are five important early games for the Indiana Pacers.
Two extremely good and physical defenses will be on display Halloween night in Indianapolis when the Memphis Grizzlies roll into town to take on the Indiana Pacers. This should be an interesting matchup between the Pacers' Roy Hibbert and David West and Marc Gasol and Zack Randolph of the Grizzlies. The real test will be to see if George Hill can contain the Grizzlies' Mike Conley.
Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks were the worst team in the NBA. This season, they have a new head coach in Jason Kidd and a young team full of promise. Pacers fans will be able to see Jabari Parker up close and personal. The Pacers need to win games like this, otherwise they will be fishing in May.
This should be an interesting test for both teams. The Boston Celtics are still in rebuilding mode, and we really don’t know yet just what mode Indiana will be in. Either way, the Pacers will need to find a way to contain Rajon Rondo, or it will be a long night for the Pacers at the TD Garden.
The Utah Jazz are young, hungry and looking to win as many games against the Eastern Conference teams as they can. Indiana is reeling from injury and the big question will be how the Pacers handle the one two punch of Trey Burke and Alex Burke. They’ll need to beat Utah early, otherwise their entire season could be on the brink.
Indiana will be coming off a five game sequence where each of those teams were in the playoffs last season and most likely will be again. Those five games could get real ugly, and they’ll need to beat up on someone; the Orlando Magic are just as good as any to do just that. If they can’t, the Pacers' season is over.
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