With both clubs looking to continue their recent success under new coaches, the Pacers will try for a fifth consecutive victory over the visiting Bobcats on Wednesday night.
Charlotte (22-29) is holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by percentage points over Indiana, and both teams can thank new leadership for allowing them to be in this position.
The Bobcats were averaging 91.8 points and playing with little intensity before the team announced the departure of well-traveled Hall of Famer Larry Brown, replacing him with fellow coaching veteran Paul Silas in late December.
Though Charlotte has not scored more than 97 points while dropping four of six, the Bobcats have averaged 95.6 in Silas’ up-tempo system while going 13-10.
Indiana (21-28) had not won more than two in row in 2010-11 under Jim O’Brien, who was fired Jan. 30. With interim coach Frank Vogel leading the way, the Pacers are 4-1 and averaging 107.6 points per contest - nearly 10 more than under O’Brien.
The Pacers’ season-high four-game winning streak was snapped with a 117-112 loss at Miami on Tuesday.
Indiana appeared to be on its way to remaining undefeated under Vogel, but blew a 14-point lead thanks to a 5-for-18 fourth-quarter shooting effort.
The Pacers should have a good chance to bounce back against the Bobcats, who will be trying to avoid a fifth consecutive loss at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Charlotte has averaged 94.3 points during its last four games at Indiana and fell 100-92 at Conseco in the teams’ last meeting Dec. 10.
Indiana’s Roy Hibbert(notes) had 13 points and 14 rebounds in that contest, and finished with 20 and 10 against the Heat. The third-year center averaged 12.1 points under O’Brien, but has scored 16.6 per game since Vogel took over.
Jackson hopes to stick around for all of this contest. He was ejected after being hit with consecutive technical fouls for complaining to the officials in a 94-89 win over Boston on Monday.
The volatile Jackson has been called for 13 technicals this season, three shy of an automatic one-game suspension.
“Jack, he does have to change and I think he recognizes that now,” Silas said. “He just can’t go after those guys.”
Despite Jackson’s short night, the Bobcats hope Monday’s upset of the Celtics can lead to back-to-back wins for the first time since Jan. 26-28.
“I think it’s something that can compel us to do even better,” Silas told the Bobcats’ official website.
Wallace posted his third straight double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds against Boston. He’s totaled 55 points and 25 boards his last two games at Indiana.