Friday, November 23 at 8:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs SAS
by Scott Agness | Updated November 23, 2:49 PM
Editor's Note: For fans coming to the game, please note the later than usual game start time due to the Monument Circle lighting ceremony at 7:00. Be sure to give yourself a little extra travel time to account for extra downtown traffic due to street closings and less parking availability.
The San Antonio Spurs make their annual visit to Indianapolis Friday, their second stop on a six-game road trip to end November.
The Spurs (9-3), one of the most successful and consistent teams of the last decade, have had the Pacers' (6-7) number in winning their last 10 meetings. After their most recent matchup on Nov. 5, Gregg Popovich had this to say about the Pacers:
Mark Montieth Discusses Records, Roy, and Lance
"We caught a break tonight. Without (Danny) Granger, their team loses their spacing and their ability to hang tough in certain periods of the game when he would keep them in the game."
Coming from one of the best coaches in the game, that statement is telling. Thirteen games into the 2012-13 campaign, the team is still adapting as the players get more and more comfortable with what they're asked to do. Granger is expected to be out three months due to knee soreness.
Although their shooting percentage (41%) isn't where they'd like it to be, the Pacers' defense is among the best in the NBA. They have the best field goal percentage defense and are second in fewest points allowed, rebounds and blocks per game.
Paul George and Roy Hibbert both hope their record night Wednesday will propel them and the team forward for many games to come.
The Spurs are averaging about 100 points per game and are tops in the league in assists with Tony Parker—a Second Team All-NBA selection last season—running the show. Tim Duncan is averaging a team-high 18.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game; Parker is second with 15 points and 7.5 assists.
Manu Ginobili missed the first two games with an injury, but since returning has been a scoring threat off the bench. Former Pacers player Stephen Jackson is out 4-6 weeks after injuring his right pinky finger against the Clippers Monday.
- C – Roy Hibbert
- F – David West
- F – Paul George
- G – Lance Stephenson
- G – George Hill
- F – DeJuan Blair
- F – Tim Duncan
- G – Gary Neal
- G – Daniel Green
- G – Tony Parker
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Spurs: Kawhi Leonard (out, tendinitis in left knee), Stephen Jackson (out, right little finger)
"They have one of the best systems in the league and one of the best coaches in the league. I don't think it's just us that they've given problems. They give everyone in the league problems. They have a system that is a fine-tuned, well-oiled machine." – Frank Vogel on the Spurs
"We watched it extensively. We were unrecognizable on the offensive end with the way that we're playing now. We showed a lot of really positive things from our New Orleans game. The ball is moving and that's why shots are starting to fall. The ball wasn't moving when we played San Antonio... there was a lot of one-on-one stuff." – Frank Vogel on their first meeting
- Tim Duncan leads the NBA with 738 career double-doubles among active players.
- The Spurs' bench ranks fourth in the league in scoring at 40.4 points per game, but they are the best in points per game differential (+11.2).
- Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was born in East Chicago, Indiana and attended Merrillville High School.
- George Hill and Ian Mahinmi both previously played with the Spurs.
In the Pacers' first eight games this season, the San Antonio game stood out because they were never in it…and they still haven’t won in the AT&T Center.
Like many games this season, the Pacers settled for jump shot after jump shot because of no real inside game. They were outscored 52-24 in the paint, and shot just 34% from the field, including 6-of-20 from 3-point range. Roy Hibbert, playing against his mentor Tim Duncan, had his worst game of the season – only scoring two points on 1-of-7 shooting.
The Pacers made a run to end the half, scoring 11 straight, which cut the Spurs lead to nine. It wouldn’t get any closer as the Spurs coasted to a 101-79 win.
George Hill had 15 points and six assists for the Pacers; David West finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Gary Neal came off the bench to lead the Spurs with 17 points and DeJuan Blair had 14. In very Duncan-like fashion, Tim Duncan quietly recorded his usual double-double – 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
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), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)