INDIANAPOLIS (December 7, 2015) — The NBA season is an 82 game grind. Human nature being what it is, it’s nearly impossible to play each of those 82 games with the same level of energy and enthusiasm.
But Tuesday night, the Pacers will have no problem finding every ounce of energy and enthusiasm they possess. The 22-0 and defending champion Golden State Warriors are coming to town. It’s as big as an early-December game can possibly get.
“This is about as good as it’s going to get until April and May,” said Paul George. “We’re definitely excited and excited about the crowd that’s going to come tomorrow and about this match-up.”
Led by reigning MVP Stephen Curry, the Warriors have opened the season with an NBA record 22-straight wins, and what’s more impressive is they’ve done it in mostly dominating fashion. Of their 22 wins, 15 have come by ten points or more.
“There’s no way you can’t be impressed with what they’re doing,” C.J. Miles said. “They play basketball the way you want to play.”
Golden State leads the league in points (115.1), field goal percentage (49.3%), and three point percentage (43.7%).
“It’s definitely impressive (that) night in and night out, you’re going to get the best out of every team and (you) still come out with the win,” said George. “Just goes to show how tough they are mentally. You’ve got to respect the champions.”
Curry leads the league in scoring (32.4) and at times seems impossible to guard.
“He’s off to an unbelievable start. He’s for sure been the best player in this league right now,” said George, who’s been outstanding himself this season, averaging 27.6 points, good for third best in the league.
Miles says it’ll take the entire Pacers roster to ensure Curry doesn’t explode for a big night.
“A talented guy like that, there’s no one guy that stops a guy like that,” said Miles. “It’s definitely a team effort. Communication is key.”
At 12-7, the Pacers believe they can snap the Warriors historic start. A big reason is their new up-tempo, spread style of play, which is similar to the Warriors.
“We’re definitely geared with our personnel to match up with this team. It looks good on paper, we’ve just got to go out and execute,” George said.
It’s the biggest game on the Pacers schedule to date, but the reality is it’s just one of 82 games. Frank Vogel won’t place too much emphasis on the result, positive or negative.
“There’s nothing profound you’re going to find out,” said Vogel. “If we play great, it doesn’t mean we’ve arrived. If we play poorly, it doesn’t mean we’re headed nowhere.”
But make no mistake: the Pacers want to be the first to hand Golden State a loss.
“We’re going to do our best and hopefully come out on top,” Vogel said.