Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs CLE
Scott Agness | April 8, 2013
Just five regular season games to go for the Pacers – three at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For the Pacers, who clinched their fifth Central Division title on Sunday, it's about getting back to their high level of play.
There's a sense of relief with the team that the division title is settled. That had been lingering over their shoulders since the middle of last week. After dropping their last two games by 22 and 19 points, respectively, Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, "It’s back to the drawing board." He wasn't happy with their effort and mistakes on both ends of the floor. While fatigue has clearly been a factor, he hopes increased rest will have the guys rejuvenated for the final nine days of the regular season.
Paul George is one player in particular that is hopeful to return to form. In the past two games, he has scored just 10 points and shot 3-of-19 from the floor, including an 0-for-8 night on Saturday.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers in town, their final division opponent this season, the Pacers want to get back on track. A win Tuesday coupled with a victory on Friday would allow the team to secure at least the third spot in the East. Should New York, which has won its last 12 games, stumble late, they want to be in position for the two seed as well.
After losing 10 games in a row, the Cavaliers have been successful in their last two outings, over Boston and Orlando. They own the fourth-worst record in the league and have ten road wins this year.
Kyrie Irving, the star and future of the Cavs, recently returned to the floor after sitting out three weeks because of a shoulder injury. He leads the team in points (22.5) and assists (5.8) per game. The Cavaliers are second in the NBA in second chance points, averaging 15.1 per game.
Tristan Thompson, who got in an argument with Tyler Hansbrough in a meeting earlier this season, has recorded a team-high 28 double-doubles and averages 11.5 points and 9.4 rebounds a game.
Pacers: Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Cavaliers: Daniel Gibson (day-to-day, sore right elbow), Luke Walton (out, right ankle sprain), C.J. Miles (out, forehead laceration/concussion), Anderson Varejao (out, vastus medialis split/surgery), Dion Waiters (out, left knee)
"We had a great practice [Monday]. A lot of positive energy, and guys working extremely hard. We learned from the tape of the last two games before practice and we’re going to manage our legs a little bit by giving them off shootaround [Tuesday] morning. Come in with a refreshed mindset, a rejuvenated mindset and get back on the winning track." – Frank Vogel
"We played two poor basketball games, which I think was a little bit of a carry over from some bad practices leading into them. A big point of emphasis today is how you practice is how you play and I thought our guys came in with great, positive energy and had a great practice." – Frank Vogel
"It’s a lot of things. We can call it fatigue. We can call it just not being sharp out there, a little lazy and not enough energy. Maybe, we all hit the wall for a couple games where we just didn't have a good show. We got to hold our head’s high, be proud of the Central Division title and try to build off of that to try and get that second seed." – George Hill on what went wrong in the last two games
"I try to take care of my body. A lot of guys are different ... Everybody in this league is tired at this point of the season that is going to the playoffs. We’re going to pick each other up." – Roy Hibbert on whether fatigue is a factor
- The Pacers have won the last five meetings.
- The Pacers are 12-3 this season vs. Central Division opponents; 7-0 at home.
- Kyrie Irving and Paul George were teammates on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the first appearance for either player.
- Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott played for the Pacers from 1993-95.
Gerald Green, who hadn’t played in nine of the previous 11 games, re-entered the lineup and led the Pacers with 20 points in their 111-90 win in Cleveland. The Pacers went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter and it wasn’t close after that. Tyler Hansbrough, in for the injured David West, had 18 points – nine of which came in the third quarter. Frank Vogel didn’t play any of the starters in the fourth quarter and emptied his bench with five minutes to play.
The Pacers’ bench tallied 52 points, which is tied for the highest output in a game this season. They assisted on 29 of 39 shots and got a much-needed win after dropping two in a row. C.J. Miles paced the Cavs with 21 points; Tristan Thompson finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Austin Croshere (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (host)
Next Home Game
Tickets are still available for the Pacers' next home game, Friday, April 12 against the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 PM. Find Tickets »