Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Sixers, Pacers on similar paths

When Michael Jackson sang "Man in the Mirror" more than a quarter of a century ago, he doubtlessly didn’t think that it would be applicable to an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sixers, Pacers on similar paths

Danny Granger (33) of Pacers is congratulated by teammate Darren Collison during Indiana´s win over the Celtics on Friday in Boston. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Danny Granger (33) of Pacers is congratulated by teammate Darren Collison during Indiana's win over the Celtics on Friday in Boston. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

When Michael Jackson sang "Man in the Mirror" more than a quarter of a century ago, he doubtlessly didn’t think that it would be applicable to an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

But there is a huge irony here.

Last spring, the Sixers and the Pacers were the seventh and eighth seeds, respectively, in the Eastern Conference, and both were summarily dismissed by the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls.

But here we are at the third week in the season and both teams are almost the spitting image of one another.

Which 76er will wind up being the big surprise this season?
Spencer Hawes will the big man we’ve been looking for.
 
  636 (60.3%)
Lou Williams will be the NBA’s top sixth man.
 
  275 (26.1%)
Jrue Holiday will be among the league leaders in assists.
 
  106 (10.0%)
Andre Iguodala will hit more game-winning shots than anyone on the team.
 
  38 (3.6%)
Total votes = 1055

At 5-2, the Sixers lead the league in both fewest points allowed (85.6) and field goal percentage (39.5). They are coming off their best defensive performance in years, a game that saw them hold the Toronto Raptors to just 62 points, the fewest points allowed in the history of the Wells Fargo Center.

The Pacers are also markedly better, ranking third in the league in field goal defense (41 percent) and points allowed (89.3) this season.

And just like the Sixers, the Pacers are coming off their best defensive showing of the season.

In a 99-77 victory over Charlotte, the Pacers locked down defensively on the Bobcats in the second half, holding them to just 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting. This, after giving up 30 points in the first quarter.

Come back later tonight and we’ll take a look at Tuesday and Wednesday foes Sacramento (home) and New York (away).

About this blog

Keith Pompey is in his first season covering the Sixers for The Inquirer after covering the Temple men’s basketball team for the past three years and Temple football the past two seasons.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Narducci also has a true passion for South Jersey scholastic sports, which he has covered for many years.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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