Expected, but it was still a relief. The Pacers are barely holding onto the number 3 seed in the East and they need all the help they can get. Enter the Kyrie Irvingless Cleveland Cavaliers, who are all banged up and relying on D-leaguers to play significant minutes. Two games against these guys should equal two wins, right?
But hang on a sec. These are the Pacers we’re talking about. The team that can beat any team and lose to any on any given night.
The Pacers almost lost to the Cavs in game one, falling behind in the fourth and almost giving up a lead late when George Hill (filling in for the injured Darren Collison — groin) did his best Collison impersonation and missed 3 of 4 free throws in the dying seconds to send the game into overtime. Fortunately, the Pacers held on 104-98 in OT and dodged a bullet.
In game 2, the Pacers headed back to Indiana and took care of business with a convincing 102-83 victory. To be honest, neither win was anything to write home about, but two wins is two wins. The Pacers are now 37-22 and have matched their total wins from last season (which was, by the way, their best since 2005-2006). With 7 games to go in this lockout shortened season, the Pacers have a real good chance of finishing with 41 wins, which would translate to 51 games in an 82-game season. Not bad for last year’s 8th seed.