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Indiana has picked up the pace
Barry McDermott
January 19, 1981
Behind revitalized Coach Jack McKinney and a host of rejuvenated players, the Indiana Pacers are driving toward their first winning season and first trip to the playoffs since joining the NBA
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January 19, 1981

Indiana Has Picked Up The Pace

Behind revitalized Coach Jack McKinney and a host of rejuvenated players, the Indiana Pacers are driving toward their first winning season and first trip to the playoffs since joining the NBA

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McKinney has also made excellent use of the Pacers' top draft choice (taken in the second round), the Indiana rubber man, Orr, a spindly forward who has the knack of slithering in and up for offensive rebounds. Orr is 6'9" and weighs, he says, 190 pounds, up from his fighting weight of 167 during his early college days at Syracuse. Orr was the 29th player taken in the draft, but he has made a big contribution, largely because while he appears to be all skin and bones, he's really mostly guts. "You can't measure heart in weight." says the Pacers' Davis. "Louie has a lot of heart. He's playing like a veteran." In Indiana's overtime win against New York last week, it was Orr who scored six of the Pacers' nine points in the extra period, and his last two baskets came off offensive rebounds.

Last Saturday night Indiana, whose attendance is down almost 2,000 a game, to 8,754, at Market Square this season, had its biggest crowd of the year—14,505—for Milwaukee, and the Pacers responded with a good showing, taking a lead that bulged to as many as 12 points in the third quarter. Then Milwaukee Guard Brian Winters got hot—make that unconscious—with 10 straight baskets, many of them with Pacers all over him. Suddenly Milwaukee had a two-point lead with three minutes left. From that point on, however, the Bucks scored just one basket, a dunk by Marques Johnson, while the Pacers made six free throws and got a big basket from Bantom to win by four. "We showed our character tonight." said McGinnis. "A lot of teams would have folded when Milwaukee came back like it did, but we hung in there and beat a good team. We're getting better. By the playoffs, we could be as good as anyone." As long as they stick together.

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