Tuesday, December 18th at 8:00 PM EST at the BMO Harris Bradley Center

Game Preview: IND at MIL

by Scott Agness | December 16, 2012 | Updated December 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Matchup

The Pacers face the Bucks in Milwaukee for the second time in a month. Carrying a three-game win streak, the Pacers will look to avenge their loss earlier this season, a game they likely want to forget because they were put away midway through the first quarter. Outside of their game in San Antonio, it was their worst performance of the season.

Milwaukee’s backcourt, composed of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, is one of the best in the NBA. They are both aggressive scorers that can create on their own and attract defenders. Ellis is averaging a team-high 19 points while shooting 40 percent from the field. Jennings averages 17 points and six assists per contest.

The Bucks ask a lot of their bench, which has the best efficiency rating in the league according to http://hoopsstats.com. That statistic takes in to consideration what the non-starters contribute (points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage) compared to their opponent. They are second in the NBA in blocked shots (7.45 per game, one spot above Indiana), and rank in the top-five in steals and turnovers per game.

Meanwhile, the Pacers are starting to build some momentum. They’ve won seven of their last 10 games, including three in a row. They take pride in their defense, holding each of their opponents in those seven wins under 93 points. Although the bench continues to be outscored – and that’s a problem the coaching staff, maybe even management is looking to solve – there have been individual efforts that haven’t gone unnoticed.

It’s very unlikely that Lance Stephenson returns from a right ankle sprain. It hasn’t healed quite as fast as Stephenson had hoped. Roy Hibbert, on the other hand, is good to go although, coach Vogel admitted that Hibbert is still very sore.

The Pacers are two games above .500 (one game back from Milwaukee) and have two division games this week, beginning with the Bucks. This will be their third game during a stretch of six games in nine days.

Probable Starters

Pacers

Bucks

  • C – Larry Sanders
  • F – Luc Mbah a Moute
  • F – Marquis Daniels
  • G – Monta Ellis
  • G – Brandon Jennings

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee), Lance Stephenson (doubtful, right ankle), Roy Hibbert (probable, bruised left thigh)
Bucks: Tobias Harris (out, right elbow laceration), Beno Udrih (out, right ankle sprain), Mike Dunleavy (probable, bruised left knee)

Quotable

"I think there’s times in every season where your team is in a little bit of a funk, whether it’s because of a tough loss or a tough stretch. We were clearly in one of them there and they were playing great basketball. They had great ball movement and passing, and really challenged our defense." – Frank Vogel on their loss in Milwaukee last month

"The league is going to adjust and starting putting him at the top of the scouting report and then it's going to be who's staying ahead of the curve... he’s playing well, he’s growing and we got to continue to see him improve and grow." – Frank Vogel on Paul George’s play this month

Noteworthy

  • The Bucks’ win in November ended a five-game winning streak for the Pacers in the series.
  • Two teams with a coach of the same name, just different spelling. Jim Boylen for the Pacers, Jim Boylan for the Bucks.
  • Milwaukee forwards Mike Dunleavy (2006-11) and Marquis Daniels (2006-09) once played for the Pacers.
  • Bucks head coach Scott Skiles was born in Indiana and played high school ball at Plymouth High School.
  • Paul George is averaging 24 points and shooting 50 percent from the field in his last seven games.
  • The Pacers' bench has been outscored in 18 of 24 games this season, including the last five games.
  • Rookie center Miles Plumlee is not with the team and is instead playing in his fourth D-League game with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Last Meeting

The Bucks scored the game’s first seven points and had another 7-0 run in the quarter, when already ahead 24-7. The game was out of hand very early and the Bucks, who led by as many as 32, won 99-85. It wasn’t as close as the score indicates, because the Pacers’ bench scored a rash of points in the final quarter.

Tyler Hansbrough led the Pacers in scoring off the bench with 17 points, all but two coming in the second half when the game was out of reach. Gerald Green scored 13 and Paul George was the only starter in double figures with 12.

Milwaukee’s backcourt tandem of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis each scored 16 and Samuel Dalembert finished with 14 points.

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), Michael Grady (host)

Next Home Game

The Pacers take on the Jazz at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday, December 19th at 7:00 PM. Good seats are available and includes the Cash 5 Promotion with Hoosier Lottery. Buy Tickets »

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