The Pacers had a very challenging start to the season, playing 15 of their first 22 on the road. To close the season, the schedule favors the blue and gold with nine of their final 11 at the Fieldhouse.
Six games remain, five at home and just one against a team with a winning-record (Chicago).
At 38-22, Indiana sits third in the Eastern Conference behind Chicago and Miami. Just as they hoped. They hold a 2 and a half game lead on Boston and have the sixth best record in the league.
The team has already surpassed last year’s win total, 37, despite playing 16 fewer games in this lockout shortened season.
The Timberwolves are dragging into Indianapolis, win-less in April and losers of their last nine games. It doesn’t help that All-Star Kevin Love has missed the last two games and will be out Monday against the Pacers.
West vs. Moondog
I’m not a big fan of mascots. They usually get in the way and are annoying. Boomer is the rare exception.
Before last week’s game in Cleveland, David West playfully hit the Cavs mascot, Moondog. I guess West didn’t know his own strength because the mascot was sent to the local hospital. [Click here to watch]
West, with a classy gesture, is sending Moondog a signed jersey and a pair of shoes for the trouble according Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Often times mascots mess around with opposing players or fans.
This time, Moondog took a few hits. I bet he learned his lesson.
The big marshmallow makes his debut
Kyrylo Fesenko got his first minutes with the Pacers against the Cavs. From the Ukraine, he checked in Friday when Lou Amundson fouled out. And couldn’t stop smiling.
At first glace, the 7-1 center looks a bit heavy. And even though he was battling the Cavs inside, he blocked out and grabbed a few rebounds in his limited minutes.
It’s unclear how much court time he may see but if the Pacers get in foul trouble or need to get Hibbert and Amundson a break, he could hang in their for a bit. This spot because available with the unexpected retiring of Jeff Foster after 13 seasons.
Fill the stands, people
Indiana is has great chemistry and rolling lately. But the fans have yet to show up to appreciate the product on the court. The Pacers are second-to-last in league attendance, despite having the sixth-best record. They are averaging about 14,064 fans in 28 home games this season.
There really is no excuse. Tickets are dirt-cheap. And even though there is no ‘superstar,’ they play enjoyable, team basketball. Soak it in. They deserve your support.
[Photo via Jeff Clark / Pacers.com]