Saturday, November 3 at 7:00 PM at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs SAC

by Scott Agness

Matchup

It’s a big night in Indianapolis: Gold Swagger is back in town, the new video scoreboard will be lit up entirely for the first time in stunning high-definition, and the Pacers play their home opener.

Playing three games of a favorable schedule to start the season, the Pacers hoped to be among the unbeaten at the end of the weekend. After a disappointing 90-89 loss in Charlotte last night, the good news is they come back home and play another one right away.

The Pacers are still without Danny Granger, who is out indefinitely with a sore left knee. Gerald Green has been okay, but not great, in his place, but it’s still very early. Indiana’s bench played hard and was productive against Charlotte, scoring 46% of the points. They must improve at the free-throw line, where through two games they are 27-43 (62.7%).

Both the Pacers and Kings could be a bit tired from the start of the season and from playing their first back-to-back games of the year. The Kings are still searching for their first win, after losses in Chicago and Minnesota.

In 2011-12, the Kings finished last in their division, posting a 22-44 record.

The Kings are a young team with tons of potential. Over the summer, they drafted All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year Thomas Robinson and signed guard Aaron Brooks. DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings' center, is coming off a stellar season where he averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds and two assists per game while leading the league in offensive rebounds.

Kings Head Coach Keith Smart is still finding out what lineups work best and so different combinations may be used early on. He wants his team to cause havoc on the defensive end with hopes that it will lead to offensive production. The Kings have a lot of talented pieces—now, it’s about all of them playing well together.

Riding the playoff momentum from last season, fans in attendance will be given a Blue Collar Gold Swagger t-shirt and the team will follow suit, wearing their alternate gold uniforms.

Fans are being encouraged to arrive early for the game and be in their seats by 7:00 PM. It's expected to be a full house and you won't want to miss the unveiling of the new scoreboard.

Probable Starters

Pacers

  • C – Roy Hibbert
  • F – David West
  • F – Gerald Green
  • G – Paul George
  • G – George Hill

Kings

  • C – DeMarcus Cousins
  • F – Jason Thompson
  • F – James Johnson
  • G – Tyreke Evans
  • G – Isaiah Thomas

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out indefinitely, left knee injury), George Hill (probable, hip pointer)

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers' first two games have each come down to the final possession.
  • Sacramento has won the last two meetings, though Indiana leads the all-time series 40-35.
  • The Kings will be playing their final game in a three-game road trip to open the season.
  • Kings head coach Keith Smart played college ball at Indiana and hit the game-winning shot in the 1987 NCAA Championship game against Syracuse.
  • Kings assistant coach Alex English played for the Pacers during the 1978-79 season and part of the 1979-80 season before being traded to Denver.

Last Meeting

The Pacers played the Kings just once last season on January 18th in Sacramento. In the first game of a three-game West Coast trip, the Pacers fell narrowly, 92-88.

Indiana led by 16 in the third quarter and went into the fourth up 14. The Kings erased the Pacers' big lead and outscored the blue and gold 26-8 in the final quarter. All five Indiana starters scored in double-figures. The outside shot was not falling, though, as Indiana hit only one of 13 attempts from long-range. Point guard Darren Collison led the team with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists.

DeMarcus Cousins was a big force inside; he scored 13 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, which tied a career-high, in the winning effort.

Upcoming

The Pacers take to the road again after Opening Night, playing three games before returning to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a home game next Saturday against the Wizards. Buy Tickets »

On Monday, November 5th, the Pacers travel to San Antonio to take on the Spurs. Start time is 8:30 PM EST. On Wednesday, the Pacers play in Atlanta at 7:30 PM EST and on Friday, November 9th, they play at Minnesota. Start time for the T-Wolves game is 8:00 PM EST.

Broadcast Information

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)

Radio: 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Bobby "Slick" Leonard (analyst)

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