Wednesday, February 13th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs CHA
Scott Agness | February 11, 2013 | Updated February 13, 2013
In game number 53 and their last one before the All-Star break, the Pacers will try to end a two game losing streak when they face the Charlotte Bobcats for the fourth and final time this season.
It has been a terrible struggle all year long for the Bobcats, who once again have the worst record in the league (12-39). At one point this season they lost 18 straight games, including all but their final game in December. Recently, they dropped seven straight games and were winless (0-5) in February before beating Boston on Monday night.
Related: Granger's Return Will Wait »
So what is going well for the Bobcats under new head coach Mike Dunlap? Second-year guard Kemba Walker has started every game this season, upped his points per game total to over 17, and is shooting nearly 43 percent from the field. Reserve Ramon Sessions has also done his part and has a knack for getting fouled. When at the foul line, he’s knocked down a team-high 86 percent of his attempts. In his sixth season, Sessions is averaging 15 points in an efficient 27 minutes per game.
Charlotte power forward Byron Mullens has been outstanding over the last four games, recording two double-doubles and averaging 19 points per game while shooting over 48 percent. In his only appearance against the Pacers, he made just 3-of-10 shots for six points.
The Pacers had won five in a row and 15 straight home games but have dropped back-to-back games. Admittedly, they’re still recovering from playing three games in three nights last week, but they need to win this final game before the All-Star break.
There’s a good chance that Danny Granger will play, after dealing with a knee injury. He has practiced full-court and shows no signs of limitations. Coach Vogel said the team will make a decision after morning shootaround depending on how Granger’s knee feels after more practice time. For at least the first few games, he will come off the bench and Vogel warned that it’s going to take some time for Granger to get his rhythm, timing and conditioning down.
Pacers: Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee, illness)
“We’ve lost two in a row, anytime you lose two in a row at any time, you gotta get the next game. I think playing three games in three nights impacted us a little more than we thought it did in terms of how sharp we were the last two games.” – Frank Vogel
“We understand teams excel going into All-Star and they really take off coming out of All-Star so it would have been good to win the last two that we dropped but the game (against Charlotte) is just as important as playing those two games that we lost.” – Paul George
- The Pacers have beaten the Bobcats seven straight times at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
- Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the youngest player in the league, born on Sept. 26, 1993.
- Pacers guard D.J. Augustin spent his first four seasons in Charlotte, after he was drafted by the team in 2007.
- Bobcats assistant Brian Winters served as the Indiana Fever head coach from 2004-07 and then a Pacers scout until 2011.
Just about one month ago, the Pacers pummeled the Bobcats in Charlotte 103-76. It was their largest margin of victory so far this season. The Pacers opened the second half on a 10-2 run and built their lead up to 26 in the quarter. They outscored the Bobcats 52-22 in the paint and tallied 26 points off of 18 offensive rebounds. The Bobcats never made more than seven field goals in a quarter and they went 4-of-14 in the fourth quarter.
Roy Hibbert scored a game-high 18 points, while both Paul George and George Hill scored 16. Gerald Henderson finished with 15 points on 3-of-10 shooting while Ramon Sessions chipped in 13 off the bench. This was a beatdown of all sorts.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (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)