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Pacers hope to fix their road woes
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On January 21, 2013 @ 10:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
The Indiana Pacers know what’s happened to them this season when they have ventured outside of Bankers Life Fieldhouse to play games.
When they face a team with a winning record, they have lost the majority of the time.
The Pacers get a chance to fix that problem this week when they play four straight road games against plus-.500 teams.
The first opportunity comes Monday afternoon against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Pacers, who are 9-13 on the road this season, also play at Portland, Utah and Denver on the trip.
The Pacers have beaten three of the four — Memphis, Portland and Utah — at the fieldhouse this season.
Now they have to do it away from home.
“We just have to figure out a way to win on the road,” center Roy Hibbert said. “I’m not going to lie to you: It’s been tough for us.”
The Pacers begin the road trip with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference, which would mean home court in the first round of the playoffs, but at some point they won’t have that in their favor.
“The biggest hurdle is being a team that can get wins on the road,” swingman Paul George said. “When it comes down to playoff time, if we don’t have the higher seed, we’re pretty much screwed. So we have to be able to learn how to win on the road.”
The Pacers have only one quality road victory this season. They won in Chicago in early December, and even then, it took a late Hibbert block on Luol Deng to get the victory.
The Pacers have lost their past three road games against teams with winning records — Atlanta, Boston and Brooklyn — by an average of 13 points.
“Nothing builds confidence and belief more than a road win over a playoff team or a plus-.500 team,” coach Frank Vogel said. “Defense travels, that’s the one thing I know. You go into opposing buildings and your defense is solid. It comes down to executing offensively.”
Defense hasn’t been a problem for the Pacers. They would excel in that area if they played games in an alley.
The problem lies … [For more on Pacers hope to fix their road woes, click here.]
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