Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers vs 76ers
Scott Agness | November 21, 2013
The Pacers return to Indianapolis on Saturday following two games in the Northeast. Back home, where they’ll play three of their next four games before venturing out West for five straight, the Pacers look to build on their excellent start and keep their perfect home record (6-0) intact.
Entering the new season, the Philadelphia 76ers appeared to be one of the worst teams in the league. They had plenty of changeover in the locker room with just six players returning from the previous season.
They unloaded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for center Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick, and opted not to re-sign oft-injured big man Andrew Bynum. Noel, the No. 6 pick, is rehabbing his torn left ACL and hasn’t played yet. Their top draft pick, Michael Carter-Williams, who was selected at No. 11, put on a show in his first week in the league. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for his first week in the league, but has battled a foot problem recently. Carter-Williams was instrumental in the 76ers’ season-opening surprise 114-110 win over the defending champion Miami Heat.
Brett Brown, a former assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, is getting his first opportunity as an NBA head coach in Philadelphia. After a prolonged process, he was named the franchise’s next coach on August 14. Another Spurs assistant, Mike Budenholzer, left last summer for the head job in Atlanta.
The 76ers are a high-scoring team, surpassing the century mark for points in eight games already whereas the Pacers have just twice. At the same time, the 76ers have the worst defense in the league, giving up more than 109 points per game. They are the only team allowing opponents to shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range.
This is one of those home games where the Pacers can’t relax, but rather should throw a knockout blow early. They’ve trailed at halftime in nine of their 12 games, but they can’t wait until the second half to start playing well.
On Friday, as the Pacers handled the Celtics, the 76ers snapped a four-game losing streak (after starting the season 4-2) in a thrilling win over Milwaukee. Spencer Hawes forced the extra period by getting a corner 3-ball to fall and then Evan Turner handled the rest. Both teams will understandably be a little tired, coming off wins Friday night and then traveling.
Pacers: C.J. Watson (questionable, upper respiratory infection), Danny Granger (out, strained left calf)
76ers: Thaddeus Young (personal reasons, not with team), Arnett Moultrie (out, left ankle), Nerlens Noel (out, left knee)
“We need to stop that. I think we need to come out and destroy teams early. We can’t rely on the second half to win the game. So, I don’t think that’s a good thing that we wait until the second half to get ready and win the game.” – Lance Stephenson on their play in the first half on Friday against the Celtics
“Just being a student. Just being a student. I wanna be at the top. I wanna be in the top list. Every day I try to get better and work hard. I put a lot of work going into this summer.” – Paul George on his personal growth
- Indiana and Philadelphia split four meetings last season, with the 76ers taking the most recent two.
- Sixers trainer Kevin Johnson attended Indiana State, was an assistant trainer for the Colts and later for the Pacers under David Craig from 1990-1994.
- The Pacers are last in the NBA in first-half scoring, but they’re No. 1 in the second half.
April 17: In the final game of the regular season, the Pacers rested four starters in their 105-95 home loss to the 76ers. The Pacers got behind early, never led, and trailed by as many as 26 points. Heading into the postseason, the Pacers lost their final three games and five of six.
Gerald Green dropped a career-high 34 points for Indiana on 14-of-23 shooting. Lance Stephenson and Jeff Pendergraph both scored 12. Dorell Wright guided the visitors with 23 points and Evan Turner added 16. It was coach Doug Collins’ last game on the bench because he resigned the next day.
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/FM 107.5, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
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