I recently posted an article on Bleacher Report about a super team comprised entirely of ex-Pacers players who are still playing in the NBA (check it out here). A number of the key players on that ex-Pacers squad (such as Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson) were on the promising team that ventured into Detroit and thumped the defending champions on their home floor (in more ways than one) on 19 November 2004.
As we know, the Pacers were never the same after that day, and more than 5 years later, the team is still suffering from the after-effects of the most infamous brawl in NBA history. Detroit had fared much better until last year (when they still made the playoffs), but this year they are pretty much neck and neck with the Pacers in the fight towards a top 5 pick in the next draft lottery (though the main reason is really the Chauncey Billups as opposed anything else).
Well, today the Pacers visited the Pistons in Detroit, and I suppose the Pacers are now the better team again for the first time since the brawl, because they came away with an easy 105-93 victory. Not much consolation for ruining the last 5+ years, but a win is a win.
Danny Granger top scored (who else) with 25 points. He was still struggling a little but managed to shoot 14 of 14 from the line. Troy Murphy proved his worth again with another double-double (16 and 11), and the two sophmores, Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush, both had solid games with 14 and 19, respectively.
For Detroit, Rip Hamilton had 27 points to lead all scorers.
With the victory, the Pacers snapped a 3-game losing streak and moved to 15-28, still 4th last in the East.
Next up, a home-and-away against the Philadelphia 76ers, one of the 3 teams in the East with a worse record! Come on, 2 more wins await!
For those fans who want to think positive, the Pacers are 6-6 in 2010.