Wednesday, November 21 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND (5-7) vs NOH (3-6)
by Scott Agness
The New Orleans Hornets embark on a four-game road trip starting Wednesday in Indianapolis. Like the Pacers, the Hornets have struggled a bit in the new season, losing their last four games and five of their last six after starting 2-1.
To say the Hornets have been busy during the last few months would be an understatement. They have had plenty on their plate, beginning in June, when Tom Benson officially purchased the team: In short order, they:
- Traded for Rashard Lewis, sending Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to the Wizards
- Drafted Anthony Davis with the top pick in the draft followed by Austin Rivers at No. 10
- Waived Rashard Lewis
- Traded for Ryan Anderson, part of a three-team deal
- Matched the Phoenix Suns' maximum offer for restricted free agent Eric Gordon
- Traded for Robin Lopez in another three-team deal
Safe to say, they look completely different than last season's 21-45 squad.
The Hornets arrived in Indy early Wednesday morning after playing the New York Knicks just hours before. Recently, their issues have been at the defensive end. In the last four games, all losses, the Hornets have given up an average of 107 points per game.
Ryan Anderson leads the Hornets in scoring, averaging 16.2 points per game while shooting 46%. Anthony Davis, who didn't play last night in New York and is doubtful for tonight’s game, has averaged 16 points and eight rebounds in his rookie campaign. They have five players averaging double-figures in points, whereas the Pacers only have three.
The Hornets are still without their franchise player, Eric Gordon, who they acquired in a deal last season that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers. He’s fighting an ongoing knee injury.
- C – Roy Hibbert
- F – David West
- F – Paul George
- G – Lance Stephenson
- G – George Hill
- C – Robin Lopez
- F – Ryan Anderson
- F – Al-Farouq Aminu
- G – Austin Rivers
- G – Greivis Vasquez
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Hornets: Eric Gordon (out, right knee), Anthony Davis (doubtful, stress reaction in left ankle)
"I’m excited about it. We’re shooting close to 48% from the field with the exception of the first half in New York. All three teams we have played since (the move) are good defensive teams. It's still a work in progress, we still have a lot to improve upon but the attitude and spirit has changed. The force and speed with which we’re playing is the way we need to play and when we play that way, we’ll be as potent as we are defensively." – Frank Vogel on the new offense so far
"They play with great energy. They beat Chicago on the road. They scored 113 points at Milwaukee. They're a very capable team and we have to bring our 'A' game to beat them. Ryan Anderson picks up (Anthony Davis') role and we knew what a threat he is from having played him in the playoffs last year." – Frank Vogel on the Hornets
- Indy native Eric Gordon isn’t expected to be traveling with the Hornets. He hasn’t played all season and is currently in Los Angeles rehabbing his knee.
- Indiana has won the last two meetings.
- Greivis Vasques is fourth in the NBA in assists with 8.6 per game
- David West played for the Hornets from 2003-2011 and is second in franchise history in points and rebounds.
The Pacers swept both decisions last year and scored 100+ points in each game. In their most recent meeting, the Pacers won in New Orleans on March 3rd 102-84. It was the Pacers’ sixth win in a row, by an average margin of 17.5 points.
The Pacers led by as many as 30 in the fourth quarter against the short-handed Hornets. Danny Granger scored a game-high 20 points while David West finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Former Pacer Jarrett Jack scored 18 and Marco Belinelli added 15 – neither of whom still on the Hornets' roster.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)