Pacers out west to battle struggling Lakers


The wait is over as the Indiana Pacers head to California to face the Los Angeles Lakers in game two of the Hickory series and the first of a few out west.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (10-5) @ Los Angeles Lakers (2-13)
WHEN: Tonight, 9:30 pm ET / 8:30 pm CT
WHERE: Staples Center (Los Angeles, CA)

RADIO: 1070 the Fan

The Pacers
There’s no other way to put it now – Indiana’s favorite basketball is hot. Hickory red-hot.

After dismantling Chicago last Friday, the Pacers start their road trip out west with a game against the seemingly always faltering Los Angeles Lakers. The Blue & Gold are riding a four-game win streak for the second time this season and will look to make it five on a late Sunday night clash.

Paul George is still playing hero ball, averaging 26.4/8.4/4.6 per game, but much credit should go to C.J. Miles for his play as a starter this season, and to George Hill, who makes the offense run as smoothly as ever.

Two areas to look for tonight: the Pacers are now second in the league in two categories – 3PT shooting % and steals per game. Indiana will likely exploit these two areas against one of the worst defenses in the league.

The Lakers
Where Indiana is hot, the purple and gold side of Los Angeles is not.

Kobe Bryant should probably hang ’em up, and the breakout seasons Laker fans were hoping for in the case of Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell have yet to come to fruition. Both of these players are very talented and very young, so they have a lot of upside, but the results so far have been nothing but ugly.

Los Angeles is in the bottom seven offensively and have not exactly been defensive stoppers either. If Indiana has their way, it will be an easy evening in California.

Next: IU v. Purdue: Battle for the Bucket

Indiana has the chance to extend their winning streak to five games and definitely should against the Lakers. The Pacers will also have a chance to catch more rest as they have both Monday and Tuesday off before facing the Clips and Blazers in a back-to-back starting on Wednesday.

But for tonight, take care of the ball, knock ’em down from long-range, and leave Bean open as much as necessary. Your move, Mr. Bryant.