If you’re looking for something fun to do in Indianapolis to get your weekend kicked off, the Indiana Pacers are hosting a free concert in downtown Indy tonight. Third Eye Blind will be performing outside Conseco Fieldhouse on Pennsylvania Street starting at 6:30. The concert is completely free, and Indianapolis sports fans in the crowd can then hop into the Fieldhouse for the Pacers home opener against the Miami Heat. Tip-off is at 8:00, and tickets are still available.
RECAP OF THE SEASON OPENER
Although Indiana dropped their season opening game against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, there were some positives to take away. Danny Granger, playing on a sore heel, managed to score 31 points while playing only 22 minutes. If he can stay healthy, the city of Indianapolis may be cheering for the NBA’s leading scorer this season.
The second string backcourt duo of Earl Watson and Dahntay Jones were pivotal in erasing a 10 point deficit in the second half, and Watson’s three-pointer with nine minutes left put Indiana ahead 101-100. Unfortunately the team was outscored 20-8 down the stretch, but still, the play of Jones and Watson was very promising. So promising, in fact, there’ve already been rumblings about them replacing T.J. Ford and Brandon Rush — both of whom struggled immensely on Wednesday — in the starting lineup. While it’s a bit premature for a drastic move like that, warning has been served to Ford and Rush that they need to step up their intensity — especially on the defensive end — if they want to remain in Jim O’Brien‘s good graces.
Other than those few positive blips, it didn’t appear anything has changed from last year. The Pacers still need to find another consistent scorer outside of Granger and Troy Murphy, Roy Hibbert still has to learn to be aggressive without fouling, and as for defense, well, the team still needs to learn how to play it effectively.
It was just one game though, one game against a very good Hawks team, so there’s no need for Indianapolis basketball fans to start worrying…yet. The team gets a chance to show the home fans that they really are an improved unit in tonight’s home opener.
PREVIEW OF TONIGHT’S GAME
Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat are the scheduled opponent, and historically speaking, that’s a very encouraging fact. The Pacers have won 17 in a row at home against the Heat, a streak dating back to the 2001 season. Miami is coming off a commanding 115-93 defeat of the New York Knicks, and former Hoosier baller, Jermaine O’Neal, appears to be fully healthy after dealing with knee issues over the past two and a half seasons. He had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the opener, and he’ll no doubt be motivated to end the Heat’s struggles against his former team.
For more Pacers news, keep coming back to funcityfinder.com. And if you want to catch the Pacers live in action on a frequent basis this season, check out more information about relocation to Indianapolis.