Wednesday, October 30th 2013 at 8:00 PM ET at New Orleans Arena

Game Preview: Pacers at Pelicans

Scott Agness | October 29, 2013

Matchup

So much for easing into a new year. One night after tipping off the entire NBA season at home against the Orlando Magic, the Pacers are in New Orleans Wednesday night against the Pelicans.

The Pacers welcomed a new season Tuesday night with a 10-point win over the Orlando Magic in front of a sellout crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Lance Stephenson and the rest of last year’s starters remain in place and are looking to pick up where they left off. Stephenson remains a key piece for this team moving forward, particularly in the absence of Danny Granger.

Led by coach Frank Vogel, the Pacers will continue to be about defense. They held the Magic to 38.7 percent shooting, forced 19 turnovers and blocked 18 shots in their win. The entire Pacers team recognizes how important each game is in such a top-heavy Eastern Conference.

A new nickname and a new brand isn’t all that’s different down in The Big Easy. Their front office had a big offseason. They acquired Tyreke Evans from Sacramento, Jeff Withey from Portland and Jrue Holiday from Philadelphia. Moreover, they signed Greg Stiesma and Anthony Morrow. The Pelicans are also hoping that Indianapolis native Eric Gordon, who’s had knee issues throughout his professional career and could be a star in this league, can make it through the duration of the season.

The Pelicans are now a group that is capable of making a run and perhaps earning a playoff seed. This is opening night for them, so they’ll most definitely be amped up.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Al-Farouq Aminu

Al-Farouq Aminu

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis

Jason Smith

Jason Smith

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, strained left calf)
Pelicans: Darius Miller (out, left foot)

Quotable

“When I play good defense and I make smart plays for my teammates, the sky’s the limit for the whole team. When I’m more aggressive, I think everybody plays hard.” – Lance Stephenson

“It was a long preseason so I’m ready to get back into the thick of things and continue to improve on what we did last year.” – Paul George on playing again on Wednesday

“Yeah, that’s the beauty of the game. Tomorrow we get another chance to get better. Here we go, the NBA season has started.” – Ian Mahinmi, with a smile, on playing consecutive games to start the season

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won the last four meetings.
  • Danny Granger, 30, was born in New Orleans.
  • Donald Sloan had two stints with New Orleans, consisting of three games each in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Last Meeting

Dec. 22: David West scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the second half to help the Pacers overcome a 22-point deficit on the road and beat the Pelicans (then Hornets) 81-75. The Pacers tallied only 11 points in the opening quarter and shot 32 percent in the first half. Out of the break, they scored 17 unanswered points and went on a 24-7 run to tie the game at 53.

The win was even more spectacular because they played the night before in Cleveland and were grounded there until morning due to weather delays. Paul George had 17 points and 12 rebounds and George Hill added 12. Robin Lopez led New Orleans with a season-high 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: Fox Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analysis), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/studio host)
Radio: FM 107.5 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)