Friday, November 2 at 7:00 PM at the Time Warner Cable Arena
Game Preview: IND at CHA
by Scott Agness
One down, 81 to go.
It took a total team effort for Indiana to come away with a 90-88 win Wednesday in their season-opener. But it was veteran David West who put the team on his back and willed them to victory in the second half of that contest, where he scored 21 of his 25 points.
Following a close-call in Toronto—where George Hill fought through pain to score the winning basket—the Pacers return to the States, but remain on the road to play the Bobcats Friday night.
Hill will probably be on the injury list for the first month or two, hampered by a hip pointer. Until the team announces otherwise, however, plan on him being on the court and in the starting lineup. Danny Granger remains out indefinitely with a sore left knee. There are no new developments to report regarding his injury as we are still waiting on planned visits with more doctors.
Meanwhile, the Bobcats open their season at home on Friday versus the Pacers. The Bobcats, coming off the worst season winning-percentage in league history, have a different look to them. As they try to move on from their dismal 7-59 record last season, the Bobcats have new uniforms with a new color scheme along with a new head coach in Mike Dunlap and draftee Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a talented and athletic wing.
Kidd-Gilchrist will greatly help at both ends of the floor: On offense, he can quickly get into the paint and create his own shot; and, defensively, he’ll often be given the assignment of guarding the opponent’s best player.
They also have two very talented pieces to build around in Kidd-Gilchrist and Kemba Walker.
Charlotte also signed Ramon Sessions, traded for Ben Gordon and claimed Brendan Haywood who was amnestied by Dallas. Seven-footer Byron Mullens led the Bobcats in the preseason with 15 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
- C – Roy Hibbert
- F – David West
- F – Gerald Green
- G – Paul George
- G – George Hill
- C – Brendan Haywood
- F – Byron Mullens
- F – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
- G – Gerald Henderson
- G – Kemba Walker
Pacers: Danny Granger (out indefinitely, left knee injury), George Hill (probable, hip pointer)
Bobcats: Byron Mullens (probable, right knee bruise)
- Roy Hibbert and Paul George each started the season with double-doubles.
- The Pacers have won the last nine meetings with the Bobcats... their last loss came in November of 2009.
Indiana has dominated the series over the last few years. Last season, they won all three meetings by a combined 71 points.
In their most recent contest, the Pacers defeated the Bobcats 102-88 in Charlotte in the last game before the All-Star break. Tyler Hansbrough, who played at North Carolina and spends most of his off-season back east, led the Pacers with 22 points and 9 rebounds. The team fell in a hole early, but kept after it and closed the third period on a 16-6 run.
The Pacers turned it over only six times and won nearly every stat line. Lou Amundson contributed eight points and 12 rebounds. It was the Pacers' fourth win in a row and a great way to head into the All-Star break.
The Pacers' first home game is this Saturday, November 3rd at 7:00 PM against the Sacramento Kings. Opening night includes a free Blue Collar Gold Swagger T-Shirt and the premiere of the NBA's best, new scoreboard. Tickets start at $10. Buy Tickets for Opening Night »
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)