When the Pacers lace up in Bankers Life, their energy and play level is simply different. If that energy when the ball tips could be bottled and chugged before every road game, this team could be a top seed in the Eastern Conference. Stan Van Gundy, his gold chain surely glistening with rage sweat, made a quick lineup change to counter the Pacers early lead, bringing Tobias Harris off the bench, to keep the Pistons close. It helped, but the Pacers looked great against a Pistons team that has found some rhythm since the All-Star Break and, I thought, would prove more of a challenge. 10 different Pacers players scored in the first half.
In the third, the Pacers struggled to keep Andre Drummond off the glass and the Pistons bricked-to-offensive-rebounded their way to a small lead. Pacers fans listening on Fox Sports, though, were blessed with two Quinn Buckner chuckles along the way to help ease the sting of losing a lead: one caused by a bad Jon Leur pass and the other by a backboard only free throw by Drummond.
The deficit was short-lived. By the end of the third, the Pacers were up by 17 and in control. They stayed that way as they didn’t need the starters in the final quarter. In the fourth, a Boban was spotted in the wild—someone who Chris Denari said “looks like an airplane.” Myles Turner had a near career high in assists (5) and Thad Young looked much more comfortable on his way to 18 points and 8 rebounds. Pacers win: 115-98
“Teague” Counter: 1/2