Tyler Hansbrough Provides Spark for Indiana Pacers

With the Indianapolis Colts fresh off a remarkable victory over the New England Patriots, and currently holding a two game lead in the AFC, most Indianapolis sports fans haven’t noticed the Indiana Pacers‘ current four game win streak, which included a stunning 113-104 win against the Boston Celtics.

Impressively, they’ve done it with an injured T.J. Ford and minus the services of Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, and Jeff Foster.  How have they managed to average 106 points a game while surrendering just fewer than 94?

Danny Granger‘s jumper is falling, that’s for one.  He’s hit 20-of-40 field goals over the last two games, and is starting to take on the leadership role that his All-Star status demands of him.  Big Roy Hibbert’s been equally impressive, throwing up a double-double nearly every night.

Hansbrough fears nobody underneath the basket.

But the real catalyst for Indiana has been Tyler Hansbrough.  With his minutes capped at 16 because of a shin injury, the rookie forward’s made a big impact in all three of the games he’s played in this season.  In his debut, Hansbrough – who many Indianapolis basketball fans bashed when the team drafted him –stunned the Conseco Fieldhouse crowd by scoring 13 points in 13 minutes while chipping in five boards.  He got to the free-throw line 10 times in his limited action, and his gritty style of play instantly endeared him to the crowd watching in downtown Indianapolis.

He backed that performance up by fighting through foul trouble and a poor shooting night to notch 11 points and eight rebounds in his second outing.  Against the Celtics he scored seven points and found himself playing significant crunch time minutes.  It won’t always be about the numbers with Hansbrough — he’ll struggle at times finding his own shot – but the energy and hustle that he brings to the court provides an instant spark for the Pacers.

Jim O’Brien‘s team is back in action on Tuesday night in New Jersey, and then return home to take on Donnie Walsh and the New York Knicks on Wednesday and LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

For more Pacers news, keep coming back to 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.