After the 105-91 beat-down they received at the hands of the Miami Heat on Sunday night, the Pacers are looking to recover and start anew. At least they can take consolation in the fact that they beat Miami in the first two games of the series.
I the upcoming week, the Pacers will face two Western Conference teams in the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers. Both will be home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. In their upcoming contest versus the Timberwolves they will need to display the same kind of fire they showed against the Orlando Magic back on January 16, 2013. Just because Minnesota isn’t in the top half of most power rankings doesn’t mean that Indiana can afford to take them lightly. That said, there is a good chance that this will be the first win in what will that gets them back on track.
They will need to be sharp against when the L.A. Lakers come to town on Friday. They already proven they have what it takes to beat L.A. back when the beat them 79-77 Nov 27, 2012. It’s hard to say how good the Lakers truly are. The general consensus among pundits is that L.A. is somewhere close to the top-10.
After playing L.A., the Pacers will take on Philadelphia on the road for what looks to be a very winnable game on paper, at least. With a win versus the ‘Sixers, the Pacers will be well on their way to building back their division lead, and making forging a path to the second slot of the Eastern Conference.
More importantly, winning will help them put Sunday’s loss squarely in the rearview mirror, something they need if they are to regain their identity. It is crucial that the Pacers rediscover their defensive swagger that has characterized most of their season thus far. They are currently ranked 6th in the Hollinger Power Rankings, down 1 spot versus their previous ranking. This can be a pivotal week for them if everything shakes out according to theory.