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Pacers make their case in win over Celtics, but it’s ugly

Jan 6, 2012, 11:03 PM EDT

Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen Getty Images

This is the kind of game you end up with if you play a condensed season after a drastically shortened training camp.

Which is to say — UGLY.

But if you can look at it for a second you see one thing: These Pacers are legitimate.

Maybe not Miami and Chicago legitimate, but to be considered among the best of the rest of the East at least. After a first half you had to turn your eyes away from like Medusa, the Pacers rallied for a 87-74 victory over the Boston Celtics to move to 5-2 on the season. Boston fell to 4-4. If you watched this game then those records seem about right. And by the way, we’re sorry you sat through it.

The first 24 minutes was just flat out ugly basketball. The game was tied at 14-14 after one — the Pacers missed their last 14 shots of the first quarter and were still tied for the lead. Indiana “pulled away” with 19 points in the second quarter to lead 33-25 at the break. The Pacers shot a sad 33.3 percent for the half, but that was better than the 26.5 for Boston.

The third quarter saw each side score 30 points. Rajon Rondo was aggressive for Boston but Ray Allen was the only guy who could have hit water falling out of a boat tonight (to borrow a Chick Hearn line) — he was 7-of-11 shooting. Paul Pierce was 3-of-17, Rondo 5-of-12 and the Celtics as a team shot 39.4 percent for the game.

Indiana was not good, just less bad. Danny Granger was 3-of-14, but Paul George was 5-of-7 and off the bench George Hill was 5-of-10 while Tyler Hansbrough was 4-of-7. Indiana was also 8-of-14 from three for the night.

Normally we’d caution reading much into this, but Indiana is a team that has shown balance on offense and good overall defense so far this season, and tonight those things were enough to get them the win.

Indiana is not a title contender, but with the addition of David West they are in the next tier in the East. Which is where Boston is on a good day. This was not a good day for Boston and Celtics fans hope not to see it repeated.

This game did show the Pacers are for real. They can impress on their good day and still win their ugly days.

Now, let’s forget about this game and dream of beautiful basketball, wherever it is played.

  1. keyshawn22 - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Ugly game offensively for the Celtics they missed a ton of wide open shots. Pacers are a scrappy team they can compete with anyone on any given night… they really get after it. Wouldnt be suprised to see them as a 5 seed in the east.

  2. JMil_ATL - Jan 7, 2012 at 7:40 AM

    It’s funny how a celtic’s fan last week was discrediting the pacers because they hadn’t beat anyone good yet.

    Yes I know the Hawks have Jekyll and Hyde moments as well. Very frustrating.

    • mytthor - Jan 8, 2012 at 1:38 AM

      I like the Pacers. Unfortunately they still haven’t beaten anybody good. The Celtics are done — not that they’re headed to the lottery but the championship window is closed. I think the Pacers are the 3 seed in the East this year. Celtics will be 4th at best.

  3. dysraw1 - Jan 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    this is how you build a team, for all the owners crying about money

  4. metalhead65 - Jan 7, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    so where are akk the people crying for Larry Bird’s head and saying he did not know what he was doing? he had a plan and stuck with it and this team is the result. he had to get rid of the thugs and big contracts and did it. he said playoffs in 3 years and made them. now he has a young team poised for success for years to come so pacer fans have more to look forward to than police reports and losses with overpaid players. good job Larry!

    • hwatt - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      yes, indeed. Michael Jordan take note, this is how it’s done.

  5. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jan 7, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Danny Granger needs to improve his shooting. His accuracy is regressing.

  6. bozosforall - Jan 7, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Boston sucks. The end.

  7. cluelessdufus - Jan 8, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Alright the pacers did not make there case boston is old and its 1 game I would say the pacers are geting better put granger hes not himself last season he averaged 24.3 points per game this season 18.3 last year he was 51% shooting this year 30% but west is a key addition and tyler hansbrough is a all round player he does so much on each side of the court with 14.6 points and 11.1 rebrounds as a back up thats good and darren collison and nice and up coming point guard so many future peices but right now there not a contender

  8. 00maltliquor - Jan 8, 2012 at 3:09 AM

    I love always being right. Now hear it from me 1st once again…the Sixers are another team in this same mold. Patience and good solid drafting has them in that same 2nd tier. I am willing to even say that they are going to be 3rd seed out East on the account that they will win the division and have to be seeded there. Boston’s toast and for real, Knicks are booty.

    Like someone above me said, THIS is how you build a good team. Portland and to a lesser extent, Denver are going to show many people/franchises that you really don’t need mega stars, just a good solid, deep, coheiseve team built through solid drafting and wise trades mixed with a ton of patience to stick to the plan. It ain’t even about being big market. And who knows, maybe you land or draft a real “big fish” and go from 2nd tier honarable mention to legit contenders like OKC.

  9. bozosforall - Jan 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    “This was not a good day for Boston and Celtics fans hope not to see it repeated.”

    Get used to it, loser Boston fans. Your Red Sox are also on the downward spiral and the Pats won’t be far behind.

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