It's been a long time since I've been confident about the Indiana Pacers heading into All-Star break. Most of the time, they've struggled, but with a different team this year, Indiana finished off the first half of this year's lockout season strong with a 102-88 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

You'd figure Indiana would blow past the worst team in the league easily, but it started off slow. First of all, things looked questionable especially when they had to escape the Hornets, who were without two of their best players. Against Charlotte, they were actually trailing throughout the first quarter, and they were at a 28-23 deficit at the end of the first.

However, the Pacers got things going, heading to a 27-14 run and they never looked back. The Pacers are now 21-12, much better than I expected at the start of the season. I look forward to what they have to offer for the rest of the season.

Frank Vogel has really turned this squad around.

"Our team has no ceiling," Vogel said. "I've said that from day one. I know we can play with the best in the league.

"We've just got to do it on a consistent enough basis to earn one of the league's best records. We are near the top. We want to be at the top. We've got great talent at every position. We're not a mega-star team but we've got stars on our team."

Tyler Hansbrough played stellar off the bench, leading the team with 22 points and nine rebounds. Even though they didn't win by 35 like their last match-up, Indiana was able to pull away and led by as much as 21 in the fourth. They completed yet another season-sweep on the Bobcats.

Danny Granger had twelve points in the match-up with several others like AJ Price, Paul George, Dahntay Jones, and Darren Collison in double-figures. Lou Amundson almost had a double-double towards the end of the game, but missed free throws denied that. However, he did finish with eight points and twelve boards.

The Pacers bench was too hard to stop, scoring 55 points.

"Our depth is big for us," Hansbrough said. "Obviously when you add David West and George Hill, it makes a difference to get some veteran guys in there that have some experience. It's good you know to have some guys that can come off the bench that can do some work. I feel like our second unit, when we get in there, we're not taking anything away. We're just trying to build the lead."

George Hill returned, scoring four points after recovering from injury. Indiana gets to enjoy a nice All-Star break and see their very own Pacers' show off their skills this weekend. Paul George looks to take home the Dunk Contest crown while Hibbert looks to display what he can do in the All-Star game on Sunday.

Looking forward to it. The Pacers head back to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on the 28th, where they face the Warriors.


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!