Friday, October 12 at 7:00 PM at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview (Preseason): IND vs. MIN
by Scott Agness
Indiana enters the second preseason game with a lot on their agenda. After a disappointing performance in Fargo against Minnesota, they meet again in Indianapolis.
For the Pacers, the principles remain the same—take care of the fundamentals and play smash-mouth basketball at both ends. Following Wednesday's 14-point loss, the players admitted there was a rust factor. With that now behind them, they are ready for the next task.
The Timberwolves are still without point guard Ricky Rubio, who is expected to be out at least a few more months after tearing the ACL in his left knee last March. Brandon Roy had a strong performance in his first game back after retiring last season due to injury, finishing with 13 points and 4 rebounds.
Once again, the Pacers will face a quality test inside which, by the end the night, will provide the coaching staff with quality talking points. According to Coach Vogel, David West will play in these preseason games, but the coaching staff particularly wants to see Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Pendergraph, Miles Plumlee and Ian Mahinmi compete and show where they are coming off of summer. Ultimately, these seven games serve as a tune-up for most and a competition for the final couple roster spots for others.
Probable Starting Lineups
- C – Roy Hibbert
- F – David West
- F – Gerald Green
- G – Paul George
- G – DJ Augustin
- C – Nikola Pekovic
- F – Kevin Love
- F – Andrei Kirilenko
- G – Brandon Roy
- G – J.J. Barea
On Wednesday's game: "The first preseason game is typically (sloppy), especially when you're playing guys who aren't used to playing with each other. Three of our starters were out, so the bench guys were playing in combinations they weren't used to." — Frank Vogel
"We were all a little rusty. I don't think we played to the best of our abilities, but you know we have a lot more to do and a lot more get in there. Last year we played our preseason games and we didn't play that well, we even got blown out by Chicago but then we ended up going on to have one of the best records. So you can't take too much out of preseason but we have a lot of work to do." — Roy Hibbert
The Pacers have won their last two home preseason games, dating back to last year. ... Tonight's game will be one of three Pacers preseason games held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The new video board will be used, but not to its full size and HD capacity. It will be unveiled at the home-opener, on Nov. 3rd against Sacramento. ... Lou Amundson makes his first appearance at the Fieldhouse with another team since playing with Indiana last year.
Danny Granger won't play and will rest his sore left knee. George Hill is questionable with a sore thumb.
Minnesota took control from the outset and never looked back en route to an 84-70 win in Fargo, ND. Danny Granger, George Hill, and David West took the night off and were inactive. All 15 active Pacers played and only Blake Ahearn failed to score.
Paul George didn't get much help from his teammates offensively, as he was the only player in double figures, finishing with a game-high 16 points. He also fouled out, which is a bit troubling considering it's just the preseason and he fouled out in only 22 minutes of play.
Center Roy Hibbert struggled to get going inside. Hibbert, who was challenged all night by Nikola Pekovic, had as many fouls as he had points: Five.
Pekovic and Chase Budinger paced Minnesota with 14 points apiece. The Timberwolves shot a better percentage, won the battle of the boards, and controlled the paint. Kevin Love nearly attained his usual double-double, scoring 12 points and corralling 8 rebounds in just over 27 minutes of play.
The game is not televised but is expected to be available on NBA Broadband. It can be heard in central Indiana on the flagship station, 1070 The Fan, and statewide on the Pacers Radio Network.
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