January 12, 2009
Some might say that I should go for Toronto/Boston, seeing as how Toronto made a late-game comeback in Sunday's loss to the C's, and Boston's aging legs might not react well to a home-and-home. Then again, Boston appears to have turned a motivation corner, of sorts, and is playing at home. Topping it all off is the fact that I escaped mention on The List again, so I'm feeling good about my takes.
I always feel good about the Pacers and Jazz, I picked them for the 1999 Finals, wasn't even close, and have been getting things wrong about them ever since.
With that in place, and even with the Pacers coming off another close loss (the first of a back-to-back on the road, no less), these are two entertaining teams that should be worth our watch. And it turns out that I'm wrong, again, you can always turn to BBC America and watch James May drive this thing.
(Also, the person who isn't wearing a bear costume in the picture above is Stacy Paetz, and I think she just might be the best sideline reporter working the NBA beat. League Pass denizens have heard just about all of them, and it's obviously open to debate, but I can't think of any other sideline reporter that actually gives me information I can use beyond the typical, "[coach] says the team needs to be more patient with its offense" nonsense.
Not counting the great Matt Steinmetz, of course, who is more of a studio guy than sideline reporter.)
Utah Jazz: 22-15, 91.9 possessions per game (12th), 109 points scored per 100 possessions (9th), 104.9 points allowed per 100 possessions (8th).
Indiana Pacers: 13-24, 96.5 possessions per game (3rd), 106.6 points scored per 100 possessions (16th), 109 points allowed per 100 possessions (22nd).