Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Preseason Game Preview: Pacers vs Mavericks
Scott Agness | October 14, 2013
The Pacers have returned home from their week-long trip to Asia. They’ll get a couple days to reacclimate themselves with Eastern Time before hosting the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night in their final home preseason game. They will then be on the road for their last four preseason contests, to be played over eight days. On Oct. 29, the Pacers tip-off the 2013-14 NBA regular season as they host Indiana University graduate Victor Oladipo and the Orlando Magic.
The Pacers (0-3) dropped both games to the Houston Rockets overseas, and although it’s just the preseason, they’d like to experience winning for the first time with this group. In those two games, their turnovers were high, rebounding differential was negative, and their transition defense was poor. Coach Frank Vogel highlighted their offensive execution and transition defense as the two areas where he wants them to improve the most.
Danny Granger continues to work his way back in the fold. On Sunday, he had 15 points, nine rebounds and no turnovers in just over 30 minutes of court time. Game timing and conditioning are two of the final stages in recovery. He’s just a little more than six months removed from a left knee surgery procedure.
Paul George was at home on Tuesday. He has bronchitis and a 104-degree fever, according to Vogel, and will not play. Forward David West and center Roy Hibbert won’t play, as coach wants them to rest most of this week before the grind of the season rolls around. Vogel said he'll treat the final two preseason games – at Atlanta and at Dallas – like regular-season games.
Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks were active in free agency. They drafted Shane Larkin and Ricky Ledo, and signed Gal Mekel, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Monta Ellis, Wayne Ellington, Devin Harris, and former Spurs forward DeJuan Blair. Those moves give the Mavericks a new look and provide forward Dirk Nowitzki with some new weapons – heavy on the guard side.
Pacers: Paul George (out, bronchitis), Roy Hibbert (out, rest), David West (out, rest)
Mavericks: Jose Calderon (out, left hamstring strain), Devin Harris (out, left foot surgery), Shane Larkin (out, fractured right ankle), and Brandan Wright (out, fractured left shoulder)
“Each game he’s getting a little more comfortable. We knew it was going to be a process. He hadn’t played in a year. He’s doing well on the knee, that’s the encouraging thing. He looks healthy. Now it’s just about getting his game timing back and that’s coming a little more each game.” – Frank Vogel on Danny Granger
“We’re just trying to have a no-excuse mentality. We have to go about our business, no matter what our travel schedule looks like. There’s the business of building a winner and nothing can get in our way of that.” – Frank Vogel on the Pacers difficult preseason travel slate
“It’s not good. That is the hardest part right now. Half of us still sleeping, half of us feel real lethargic. It’s 12-hour difference.” – Danny Granger on the team’s jetlag
“It’s a lot of things. Lack of communication and effort. It’s something new to bring a lot of the new guys in. Getting back the rhythm of the season. People were in shape but playing is actually different than just working out. Get some games under our feet and start to communicate a little better, and get everybody implemented on what our defense is about and I think we should be rolling.” – George Hill on what’s responsible for their poor transition defense
- The Pacers have defeated the Mavericks in four of the last five meetings, including three in a row.
- Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle comes back to Indy, where he was an assistant under Pacers president Larry Bird from 1997-2000 and then the team’s head coach from 2003-2007. His 2003 team won the Central Division, had the NBA’s best record (61-21) and set a franchise record for wins in the regular season.
- Pacers center Ian Mahinmi averaged 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Mavericks (2010-12).
- Donald Sloan was born in Shreveport, Louisiana but he played high school ball at Seagoville in Dallas.
- New Pacers assistant coach Popeye Jones played in Dallas from 1993-96, and again in 2002-03. He later worked under Avery Johnson and Rick Carlisle from 2006-10.
March 28: The Pacers won both meetings last season by at least 20, including a 103-78 win in Dallas. This was victory number three in a string of six in a row, and part of a 4-0 road trip against Western Conference teams.
Tied at 41 through two quarters, the Pacers shot 70 percent in the third period and outscored the Mavericks 34-17 in the period. Prior to the game, the team announced that Danny Granger would undergo surgery on his left knee and be out for the season.
Paul George led the Pacers with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists. Roy Hibbert recorded 16 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Then-rookie Orlando Johnson contributed 12 points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes off the bench. Forward Dirk Nowitzki was the lone Mavericks player in double figures with 21 points.
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