Remaining Pacers show exceptional teamwork
- INDIANAPOLIS The injury-and-suspension-depleted Pacers proved again mind over matter and motivation are key ingredients in winning in the NBA.
On Tuesday in a charged Conseco Fieldhouse, they defeated the Celtics 106-96. With only eight players eligible to play and in uniform in wake of the brawl with the Pistons on Nov. 19, the Pacers were able to "circle the wagons" and play over their heads. They were helped by an energized crowd Pacers' fans are some of the most loyal and knowledgeable in the entire league that transferred an "us against the league" mentality to the players.
Another team also has excelled despite being short-handed this season: On opening night, the Wizards defeated the Grizzlies despite having only eight players in uniform.
For a player in this situation, being short-handed has a silver lining. If you make a mistake, chances are you're not going to have to look over at the bench to see who is getting ready to replace you.
Coach Rick Carlisle rotated just seven players in his main rotation, even though an eighth player, center John Edwards, played two minutes. Carlisle was tremendous in terms of game management and play calling.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Source: Jackson 'ready to go back to work'
- Rockets turn on burners in 3rd, rout Pacers
- Sources: Lakers not ready to fire D'Antoni
- Noah, Anthony decline to discuss 'gossip'
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- adidas Men's Indiana Pacers Nation T-Shirt
- NBA Home
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Heat Index