Great win for the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight. It's early, but with the 99-86 win the Pacers are now 2-1 for the season and out on top in the Central Division.
The Pacers have a bit of a break now as their next game is not until November 3rd, against the 76ers again, but this time in Philly. No doubt the 76ers will try to return the favor at home, but I see it as a great opportunity for the Pacers to go up 3-1.
Here are some thoughts and observations from the game.
- Despite the scoreline the game was close for the first half, with Philly racing out to an early double digit lead. The third quarter was huge for the Pacers as they outscored the opponent 27-15.
- Danny Granger top scored with 22 and was in fine form. He didn't force his shot, which was great to see, and he knew when to rely on his teammates.
- Roy Hibbert had another off shooting night, going 5-13, but he was again an important factor, grabbing 13 boards and dishing out 5 assists. He's coming along very nicely.
- Darren Collison is going to be a star in Indy very soon. He's been playing surprisingly few minutes (25 last night) but he has been tearing it up and down the court. He had one huge steal and breakaway slam that brought the house down. If he can keep his turnovers down he should be playing at least 30 minutes a night, preferably 35. TJ Ford has been holding his own but there's no comparison. Collison is the future.
- I love watching Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts play. Both are unpolished at either end of the floor, but their hustle, effort and aggressiveness cannot be understated. The Pacers need players like them.
- Jeff Foster was put on the inactive list in the place of Dahntay Jones, but it didn't really make a difference as Jones didn't play anyway.