Friday, November 9 at 8:00 PM EST at the Target Center
Game Preview: IND vs MIN
by Scott Agness
The Pacers wrap up their first six games—five of which have been away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse—with a contest against a much-improved Minnesota team. The Timberwolves are carrying on without their two best players, Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. Love broke his right hand while training and Rubio is still rehabbing an ACL injury from late last season.
Minnesota isn’t doing anything spectacular, but it does have two wins. In Love’s absence, Andrei Kirilenko, who signed with the team in the summer, has led the charge. He leads the team in assists, rebounds, field goal percentage, free throws, and blocks. Center Nikola Pekovic is averaging a team-high 15 points per game. Those two are also part of the reason why the T-Wolves are second in the league, behind the Pacers, in blocks.
Second-year power forward Derrick Williams has shown signs of great potential. Now starting in place of Love, Williams is active inside, has great length and can irritate opponents. So far, he’s averaging 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, but I expect those numbers to quickly jump as more games are played.
Early in the season, there are two similar opponents to compare: Both Indiana and Minnesota defeated Sacramento, but Minnesota lost to Toronto while Indiana won on Hill’s buzzer-beater. Take from that what you will.
- C – Roy Hibbert
- F – David West
- F – Sam Young
- G – Paul George
- G – George Hill
- C – Nikola Pekovic
- F – Derrick Williams
- G – Andrei Kirilenko
- G – Brandon Roy
- G – Luke Ridnour
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee injury), Jeff Pendergraph (doubtful, concussion)
Timberwolves: J.J. Barea (probable, concussion-like symptoms), Kevin Love (out, broken right hand), Ricky Rubio (out, knee)
- The Pacers have won six of their past nine games against the T-Wolves.
- The Pacers were highly interested in signing Brandon Roy in the summer.
- J.J. Barea received one of the first warnings of the year from the league on flopping.
The Pacers played the Timberwolves in their first two preseason games. They won the second meeting at home 96-91 behind 18 points and six rebounds from Gerald Green. Paul George contributed 19 points and Ian Mahinmi had 17 points and eight rebounds. Danny Granger, George Hill and Roy Hibbert were all inactive.
Derrick Williams scored a game-high 25 points and Kevin Love, who only played 12 minutes, had six points and nine rebounds.
The Pacers won both regular season meetings last year.
Immediately following Friday’s game in Minnesota, the Pacers will return home to face the Washington Wizards on Saturday, November 10th at 7:00 PM. Buy Tickets »
After the Washington game, they’ll have a day off and a day of practice before hosting Toronto on Tuesday, Nov. 13th at 7:00 PM EST.
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), Austin Croshere (analyst)