We’ve been keeping tabs on the Pacers for a while now; if they upset the Miami Heat this spring, let posts like this serve as proof that we saw it coming because, whew, Indiana is looking scary. The Warriors can attest to that, as Golden State fell 108-97 in a game that should the rest of the league on watch.
The Warriors started off the season hot, and will be a solid playoff team regardless a recent lull in play. Indiana tore through them in a way that Miami would dismantle Charlotte; despite Golden State’s plethora of talent, Stephen Curry – who led all scorers with 35 – was the only Warrior consistently knocking down shots. The Pacers, on the other hand, featured three 20-point scorers (George Hill, Paul George and David West, who led the team with 28). Danny Granger even made his second consecutive appearance, and although his role on this team is yet to be determined, his presence is a “problem” that any team would love to have.
Re-read Tins’ post if you want to know why the Pacers are becoming the second-best team in the East, then take into account Tuesday night’s fourth quarter. Roy Hibbert, he of calm demeanor and Parks and Rec appearances, took offense to the Warriors’ David Lee, sparking a mini-brawl that sent a clear message – the days of pushing around the Pacers on their home floor left when Troy Murphy did.
Not that any of us are condoning violence – the absolute last thing that the Pacers need now that they’re gaining this momentum – but you can’t grind through the playoffs and upset a goliath like Miami without some alpha dog in you. The way that Hibbert and co. responded to this perceived disrespect – and the way a vicious bite followed such loud barks – says a lot about the direction that this team is heading.
Sidenote: Do check out the second clip as Curry breaks a set of ankles – in this case, George Hill’s – instead of getting his ankles broken.