Scouting report: Pacers vs. Nets

Updated: April 22, 2006, 9:56 AM ET
By John Carroll | Scouts Inc.
East scouting reports: Bucks-Pistons | Bulls-Heat | Pacers-Nets | Wizards-Cavs
West scouting reports: Kings-Spurs | Lakers-Suns | Clippers-Nuggets | Grizzlies-Mavs

I have always said that the playoffs showcase your strengths and weaknesses.

There is nowhere to hide or cover them up at this time of the season. You are who you are. We know exactly who the New Jersey Nets are. They are a team that has worked hard this season , directed by a tireless coach in Lawrence Frank to get this thing right. They fought through some adversity in the early stages of the season, and came out with a 49-33 record. They have three explosive perimeter players, they defend at a high level, and can play big or small, fast or slow.

On the other hand we have no idea what to expect from the Indiana Pacers. Are the Pacers a dangerous, talented team that will be able to salvage a disappointing season with a playoff victory? Or are they a team riddled with chemistry issues, a lack of cohesiveness and a major drop off in their defensive mindset from several years ago?

The Pacers won the season series 2-1 but that is irrelevant in this series because those games did not include the same players that will face each other on Sunday. Two weeks ago, the Pacers dropped seven of eight games, and were four games under .500. They went five for five down the stretch to get the sixth seed in the playoffs, but this team has been up and down all year. Game 1 must be a statement game for the Pacers. If the Nets get the Pacers down 2-0, this series might end quickly.

John Carroll

Scouts, Basketball Recruiting
John Carroll joined Scouts Inc. after nine years as an NBA coach, including a seven-year tenure with the Boston Celtics that concluded with a four-month stint as interim head coach in 2003-04. Before joining the NBA, Carroll spent six years as head coach at Duquesne University and seven years at Seton Hall as an assistant to head coach P.J. Carlesimo.