Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: Pacers vs Cavaliers

Scott Agness | October 31, 2013

Matchup

The Pacers (2-0) face the much-improved Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday evening. Cleveland, a team that has a real chance to earn a playoff spot, if healthy, makes their first appearance in Indianapolis. The Pacers swept the season series last year and have won six straight meetings.

Paul George’s offensive production has thus far carried over from last postseason. He’s averaging 28 points and five assists over the first two games. In the early going, Indiana’s defense ranks among the best in the league. They are second in field goal percentage defense, fifth in points allowed, and averaging 15 blocks per game.

RELATED: George Hill Day-to-Day with Sore Hip »   Cavs a Potential Trap? »

The Cavaliers will on the second night of a back-to-back, after playing in Charlotte Friday night. They are always dangerous with the crafty Kyrie Irving, who was a first-time All-Star last season, running the show. In 59 games last season, he averaged 22.5 points, 5.9 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. Irving always proves to be a tough cover.

After missing all of last season with Philadelphia due to knee injuries, oft-injured big man Andrew Bynum played nearly eight minutes in a season-opening win over Brooklyn on Wednesday. If he can get back to even 90 percent and remain mostly healthy, he’ll be a big addition to the Cavaliers. In the offseason, Cleveland also signed forward Earl Clark and Jarrett Jack, who was been an underrated pick up in free agency. In June, they drafted Anthony Bennett (UNLV) with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

In addition, the Cavaliers brought back Mike Brown for his second stint as their lead man. Brown directed the Los Angeles Lakers for five games last season, but then was let go after their 1-4 start. Brown, a Pacers assistant from 2003-05, was named NBA Coach of the Year with the Cavaliers in 2009.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving

Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters

Earl Clark

Earl Clark

Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson

Anderson Varejao

Anderson Varejao

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, strained left calf), George Hill (day-to-day, sore left hip)
Cavaliers: Carrick Felix (out, mild sports hernia)

Quotable

“I like the 30 [free throw attempts] we got the other night. I don’t have a target number that we’re trying to get, but we want to be in the top five in the league.” – Frank Vogel on free throw shooting

“He can do it all. He just does everything. He’s a great decision maker in the pick-and-roll game. He makes you pay no matter how you guard him. … There’s really nothing he can’t do. He’s as good of a point guard as there is out there.” – Frank Vogel on Kyrie Irving

“I feel like if you take him away, it limits who they are as a team. He’s the head of the snake, and we know that. We have to do the best we can and it’s not just me. It’s going to take the whole team, a collective group out there to stop him. He can beat you by himself.” – George Hill on Irving

“We’re coming along well. I think we’re just trying to find the in between now. We’ve started off hot, and then we’ve been on the other side of that. We’ve just got to find the medium for both of those games and be able to sustain that energy throughout the whole 48 minutes.” – Paul George

“We know what the job is at hand. We’ve got to be able to pressure up and contain their guards and really box them out. That’s a team that can really offensive rebound. Their best offense might be their ability to rebound the ball offensively.” – Paul George on the Cavaliers

Noteworthy

  • The Cavaliers are the second-youngest team in the NBA, just ahead of the 76ers.
  • Washington, Indiana native Tyler Zeller missed the entire preseason after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis and having his appendix removed. He was cleared this week and is available.
  • Cavaliers coach Mike Brown’s son, Elijah, is a freshman on the Butler basketball team.
  • Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller all played with Paul George at USA Basketball’s National Team mini-camp last July in Las Vegas.

Last Meeting

April 9: The Pacers’ 99-94 win was the lone bright spot – and win – during a six-game stretch. For much of the game, things weren’t going well at all. The Pacers trailed by as many as 20. With 2:05 remaining in the third quarter, and down 15, Frank Vogel knew he needed to change the game, so when he didn’t like a call, he got ejected. The hope was to inject some life into his team and it sure did. They outscored the Cavaliers 35-10 over the final 12 minutes in their epic comeback.

David West finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. Zeller scored 18 for Cleveland before he fouled out after 30 minutes. It was the second-largest deficit the Pacers overcame last season, and they outscored the Cavaliers in transition, 33-7.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: Fox Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 1070 The Fan (FM 107.5 The Fan following IU football at approximately 8:30 p.m.), Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)

Ticket Information

Select seats still remain for Saturday's game. Get Tickets »

Saturday is also Lucas Oil Family Night at Bankers Life, where fans can get four tickets, four gifts, and four meals for only $50. Learn More »

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