Sunday, October 13th, 2013 at 1:30 AM ET - Taipei, Taiwan

Preseason Game Preview: Pacers at Rockets

Scott Agness | October 13, 2013

Matchup

The Pacers face the Rockets once more – this time in Taipei, Taiwan – before returning to Indianapolis late Sunday night. This game will be held on Sunday afternoon there, and 1:30 in the morning in Indy. It can be seen live on FOX Sports Indiana.

The Pacers were part of the NBA’s first-ever game in Taipei back in 2009 when they played the Denver Nuggets. However, Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert were the only players with the team then.

With an 0-2 start to the preseason, Pacers coach Frank Vogel will look for his team to improve in a few departments, particularly with the way they start games and defend. He is playing some mix-and-match lineups so that has contributed to the team's struggles, but allowing Houston to shoot over 53 percent and score 116 points last game is well over their accepted numbers. The formula to improvement starts with someone stopping the ball and not enabling the Rockets to do what they like – score on the run.

Coming back from a knee operation, Danny Granger continues to play nearly 30 minutes a game. He’s gone 2-for-10 in each of the first two games, with a handful of misses around the basket. Coach Vogel swapped Granger in for Lance Stephenson and played him with the rest of the starters for much of the third quarter last game to see how that group would play together.

Chris Copeland is another player to watch. He was unusually off last game, knocking down just one of his eight attempts. In training camp, he rarely ever missed when he got the slightest open look.

The primary focus with the Rockets is to contain their up-tempo, high-scoring offense. When Dwight Howard, who chose to sign with the Rockets over the summer, is on the floor, Indiana must be more aware when inside the paint. Pacers center Roy Hibbert admittedly has his hands full with Howard, but did a nice job against him last game. James Harden, a first-time All-Star last season, can rack up points in a hurry both with his jump shot and quick step inside the arc.

Probable Starters

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

David West

David West

Paul George

Paul George

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

George Hill

George Hill

Dwight Howard

Donatas Motiejunas

Chandler Parsons

James Harden

Jeremy Lin

Injury Update

Pacers: None
Rockets: Omer Asik (Calf strain), Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis) Francisco Garcia (groin), Greg Smith (hip) and Reggie Williams (groin)

Quotable

“It is great anytime we get out of Indiana and get more recognition. Obviously the further you go in the playoffs, the more people watch you. This is great for us to be here. This is something that we wanted to do. We have a brand and want everyone, whether they like us as a team or not, to at least know who we are.” – Pacers president Larry Bird on the team being part of the Global Games

“I love it. I just love that the NBA game is so global and the support here in the Philippines and in China where we were before, and Taipei, just globally it’s a little bit overwhelming to me and it’s something that’s a little bit fascinating, something I really embrace. It’s just so good for our game the support that we have over here.” – Frank Vogel on playing in the Global Games

“A physical player… He brings a defensive presence and he’s very talented on the offensive end, despite what anybody says. He’s a hassle down there. I’m going to have my hands full and I can’t wait to go out there and compete.” – Roy Hibbert on Dwight Howard

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won three straight regular-season games over the Rockets.
  • On the trip, the Pacers will travel about 16,670 miles by plane. Of the 12 teams participating in the Global Games, Indiana's travel mileage is second to only Houston (17,200).

Last Meeting

October 10: The Pacers failed to slow the Rockets’ offensive attack and consequently fell in Manila, 116-96. The Rockets poured it on early, jumping in front 12-0 and never relinquished the lead. Rockets guard James Harden scored a game-high 21 points in the winning effort.

The Rockets, the designated visiting team for this game, shot 53 percent from the field and were able to maneuver into the lane frequently. They tallied 62 points in the paint along with 27 points off 19 Indiana turnovers.

Paul George scored 17 points and but he also had five turnovers – a statistic that irked him. David West chipped in 14 and Orlando Johnson scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana (DirecTV 671 and Dish 418) – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)

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