Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM at Quicken Loans Arena

Game Preview (Preseason): IND vs CLE

by Scott Agness

Matchup

The Pacers have their final tune-ups for the regular season this week, tonight in Cleveland and Friday against the Bulls on the Notre Dame campus.

These last two preseason games will be treated, for the most part, like regular season games in preparation, lineups and minutes.

Danny Granger will play his first minutes in the preseason tonight after taking it slow in training camp after a minor knee operation. Coach Vogel says Granger will start and play about 12 minutes in two 6-minute spurts.

Without Granger, George Hill and David West in the lineup, the Pacers defeated Memphis 83-80 behind newcomer Gerald Green. He has started each game so far and has showed his ability and willingness to be a scoring threat and the energy guy off the bench.

Indiana will get a quality test of their inside game, again, as Cleveland has seven guys 6-foot-9 or taller. Last game, we saw Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi play the four and five positions together for the first time as they took on Memphis' big front line.

Tonight will be the Cavaliers' final preseason game and they’re still trying to figure out what sets and lineups will work best. As has been well-documented, the Cavs have been rebuilding the past two seasons following LeBron James signing with Miami. Complicating matters is bringing Kyrie Irving back from injury while trying to blend 2012 draftees Dion Waitors and Tyler Zeller with second-year player Tristan Thompson and the rest of the lineup. Cavs coach Byron Scott said he will try a new starting lineup tonight and a different rotation to see how it plays out and gather more information before their season-opener.

Probable Starters

Pacers

  • C – Roy Hibbert
  • F – David West
  • F – Danny Granger
  • G – Paul George
  • G – DJ Augustin

Cavaliers

  • C – Anderson Varejao
  • F – Tristan Thompson
  • F – Alonzo Gee
  • G – Dion Waitors
  • G – Kyrie Irving

Quotable

"It will feel good. I’ve been practicing for the last week and a half, but this is the first time I’ve had some game experience. It's just good to get my feet wet a little bit." – Danny Granger on playing in his first game

"We can attack in a lot of different ways—transition, half-court. We’ve got shooters, we’ve got post players. We’re really talented. Our limitation right now is our transition defense. Sometimes, we zone out with our turnovers and making bad plays." – Granger’s observation from the bench

"It’s imperfect, but it doesn’t really worry me. Keeping them healthy worries me." – Frank Vogel on starters missing time due to injuries

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers made cuts Monday, parting ways with Blake Ahearn, Sundiata Gaines and Luke Nevill to get the roster down to the league-maximum 15. Another round of cuts may be made.
  • Washington, Indiana’s Tyler Zeller was taken 17th overall in last year’s draft.
  • Indiana’s three wins have been decided by an average of four points.
  • The Cavaliers are 3-3 in the preseason and have alternated win-loss. Will that continue and mean a Cavs win?
  • Cleveland head coach Byron Scott played for the Pacers from 1993-95.
  • Head video coordinator Hansen Wong has also been the video coordinator for the Fever, who won their first WNBA title Sunday.

Injury Update

Pacers: Coach Vogel said George Hill, who is likely out and has yet to play in the preseason, is still very sore in the hip after suffering a hip-pointer in practice. His thumb, however is fine.

Last Meeting

The Pacers went 3-1 against the Cavaliers last season and won the two recent matchups. In their last matchup, the Pacers won 102-83 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and secured a playoff berth despite missing 25 of their first 31 shots.

Danny Granger led Indiana with 18 points, 9 coming in the third quarter. Roy Hibbert had 12 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double and Tyler Hansbrough was perfect at the line (8-8) and finished with 16 points off the bench. The Pacers registered 23 assists for their 37 field goals. The Cavs shot just 35-percent and no player scored more than 14 points (Omri Casspi). Kyrie Irving didn’t play due to a right shoulder injury.

Broadcast Information

TV: None

Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play)

Upcoming

The Pacers open the regular season Oct. 31st in Toronto, with the first home game being Saturday, November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings. Tickets for Opening Night went on sale to the General Public on October 18th.

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