More relieved than anything that the Pacers blew away the New Orleans Hornets, 102-84, to give Indiana it's sixth straight win (after losing five straight). The team now stands pretty at 23-12, third in the Eastern Conference!
But of course, don't expect win streak to continue for much longer, as they will soon kick off one of the most difficult parts of the season: @Chicago, Atlanta, @Miami, @Orlando, Portland, Philadelphia, @New York, New York, LA Clippers. It's hard to envisage a lot of wins during this stretch.
On the bright side, the Pacers are going in with some momentum on their side. But have they improved substantially since that five game losing streak? I'd like to think so, but the streak hasn't exactly come against top class opponents...actually, they've come against some of the worst teams in the league. The positive is that three of the five games were blowouts, something we didn't see a lot from this team before.
I know the team is supposed to have uupgraded its ball movement as of late, but it still stands at 27th in the league in assists per game. That's got to be a concern. Roy Hibbert didn't hit a field goal last game, and Danny Granger and David West both continue to be hot and cold. Collison is doing better but he has his limits, especially defensively, while Paul George still can't find that consistency he sorely needs.
The biggest plus for the Pacers is that George Hill is back and playing himself back into shape, while Hansbrough appears to have put that horrendous stretch behind him. I guess it's also good that AJ Price has been playing and Lance Stephenson hasn't.
Well, I guess we'll see what this team is made of over the next nine games. If they can get four wins I will consider it huge a success.