Saturday, January 5th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs MIL

by Scott Agness | January 4, 2013

Matchup

The Milwaukee Bucks (16-14) are no strangers to the Pacers. They’ve already met twice this season with the Bucks taking both games at the Bradley Center.

Pacers Weekly: Scott Skiles

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On this week's edition of Pacers Weekly, Mark Boyle sits down with Indiana native Scott Skiles, curretnly the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. The two discuss Skiles' career as a player, a coach, and his passion for the game of basketball.

On Saturday, with the home crowd on their side, the Pacers will try to earn a win against the only Central Division opponent that they haven’t beaten during the 2012-13 campaign. They will both be playing their second night of a back-to-back as the Bucks host Houston on Friday and the Pacers are in Boston. Plus, the Pacers may be catching the Bucks at the right time – while they’re down, losers of their last three games. Indiana, too, needs a win, after their troubles in Boston Friday night.

With the Bucks, it’s about their backcourt tandem of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, as well as contributions from their bench. Jennings, in particular, has torn up the Pacers, scoring a season-high 34 points in their December outing. George Hill’s status is still in question, slowed by a strained right groin. He hasn’t played in the Pacers’ last three games but they certainly would like to have him back for the tough assignment of defending Jennings.

As for Milwaukee’s bench, they’re contributing over 37 points per game. Last night, against Houston, four players finished in double figures off the bench.

Bucks center Larry Sanders isn’t much of an offensive threat but he is a guy that protects the paint. He is second in the NBA in blocks – behind Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and ahead of Roy Hibbert – and he recorded five of their 12 blocks in the last meeting. Sanders has swatted at least one shot in all but one game this season.

The Pacers have fared very well at home this season but they’ve struggled against teams with winning records. Milwaukee, Miami, and New York all come to town over the next six days – and, as the player’s put it, "It’s going to be fun."

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

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Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

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Paul George

Paul George

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David West

David West

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Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

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Brandon Jennings

Monta Ellis

Ekpe Udoh

Luc Mbah a Moute

Larry Sanders

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee) Sam Young (out, sprained left ankle), George Hill (questionable, strained right groin), Lance Stephenson (probable, strep throat)
Bucks: Beno Udrih (questionable, sprained right ankle)

Quotable

"We need to bounce back (from last night’s loss), and have a strong game. To be the team we want to be, we can’t take consecutive losses.” – Tyler Hansbrough

"(Tonight's) an even bigger game, by them being a division opponent and a team that took us down twice already.” – Paul George

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won six straight home games and they're 11-3 in Indy this season.
  • The Pacers are 4-2 vs. Central Division foes, with both losses coming to the Bucks.
  • Monta Ellis was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Dec. 24-30.
  • Milwaukee forwards Mike Dunleavy (2006-11) and Marquis Daniels (2006-09) previously played for the Pacers.
  • Bucks head coach Scott Skiles was born in Indiana and played high school ball at Plymouth High School.
  • Same name, different spelling. The Pacers have assistant coach Jim Boylen, the Bucks have Jim Boylan.

Last Meeting

Brandon Jennings scored a season-high 34 points, including 11 of the Bucks’ final 13 points to dispose of the Pacers 98-93 and pick up their second win vs. Indiana this season. The Pacers had their chances down the stretch, getting to within three with a minute to play but Paul George, who finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, missed a shot and George Hill traveled with the ball after receiving the inbounds pass.

The Pacers shot 50 percent in the first half but only 30 percent in the final two quarters. They turned it over 20 times which led to 20 Milwaukee points. Hill led the Pacers with 18 points and David West added 12. Monta Ellis accounted for 19 points and Mike Dunleavy, the former Pacers player, returned after missing seven games with a knee bruise to score 17.

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)

Ticket Information

The Pacers-Bucks starts at 7:00 PM. The game includes a Lucas Oil Family Night ticket special. Buy Tickets »

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