Thanks largely to Jamaal Tinsley, the Indiana Pacers kick off the Jim O’Brien era with an opening night overtime home win over the Washington Wizards. The win is especially impressive when you consider the Pacers were without All-Star forward Jermaine O’Neal. Tinsley put up 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and also had nine rebounds, eight assists and three steals. I don’t want to prematurely you know what, but maybe, just maybe, O’Brien was just what the doctor orderer for No. 11.
Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy also put up great numbers. Granger hit five threes on his way to 20 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Dunleavy had 25 points, 12 boards and four assists. He also continued his strong plus/minus numbers with a +9. That number was second best, but easily the most impressive considering the fact that he logged roughly 10 more minutes than any other Pacer.
Anyway, this was just a great win all around. After all we’ve been through the last few years, it’s nice to see the Pacers start off on a positive note.
PACERS GUARD JAMAAL TINSLEY
“The first half was kind of slow. We picked up the pace and were playing basketball on both ends of the court. When we turned it up like that, we give ourselves a better chance to make our shots and to go into our regular game plan. I am moving up and down the floor, letting the game come to me and having fun.”