For Pacers, chemistry taking shape, mostly on road

Malcolm Brogdon | Getty images

You can always count on the Indiana Pacers to win on the road. In fact, after Wednesday’s victory over the Houston Rockets, the Pacers are tied (with the Philadelphia 76ers) for the best road record in the Eastern Conference.

The Pacers are also tied (with the Detroit Pistons) for the East’s worst home record.

Yeah, make sense of that. Overall, the Pacers are 17-12 on the road, and an inexplicable 9-16 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That makes them 26-28 overall and one game behind the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth seed.

Anyway, all that really matters is the Pacers have won four of five — and five of seven. Up next is a road game (woo hoo) against the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz (3 p.m. EST, Friday, NBA TV).

So it’s safe to say the Pacers are finding their stride as the time to get serious about a playoff push has arrived.

“We’re just aggressive,” Malcolm Brogdon told reporters of the sudden semi-surge. “We’re aggressive. We’re making shots. We’re getting easy shots.”

Brogdon speaks the truth, and as one of the league’s most-underrated point men, is sort of leading the charge. He erupted for 23 points, nine assists and 14 rebounds in the win over the Rockets.

And it doesn’t hurt to have talents such as Caris LeVert (27 points) and Domantas Sabonis (22) — especially with Myles Turner and Doug McDermott nursing ankle injuries. And T.J. McConnell has been an absolute terror off the bench. Jeremy Lamb also had a nice game vs. the Rockets, scoring 18.

“It’s just chemistry,” Brogdon said. “It’s guys learning how to play with each other and learning our strengths and weaknesses. When you add a huge playmaker and scorer and a great player like Caris LeVert, it’s going to take some time to get used to his style of play and for him to get used to how we play.”

The Pacers will follow their game in Utah on Friday with another afternoon tilt, in Atlanta on Saturday. But hey, at least both are on the road, where the Pacers tend to be at their best.

“It’s the schedule,” coach Nate Bjorkgren said. “We want to take advantage of it the best we can. We’ve had early games before, and we’ll just worry about the next game and go from there.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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