Wednesday, December 5th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs POR
by Scott Agness | December 4, 2012
The Trail Blazers complete a seven-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams on Wednesday against the Pacers. They lost the first four games of the trip but have since won two straight, both in close fashion. The Blazers edged Cleveland by one on Saturday and defeated Charlotte by six on Monday night. Both games went to overtime.
Portland is very inexperienced. They return just six players from last season, have five rookies on their roster and only one player – Indiana native Jared Jeffries – has at least 10 years of experience. They picked up Damian Lillard (6th), Meyers Leonard (11th), and Will Barton (40th) in June’s draft, acquired Jared Jeffries and Sasha Pavlovic in a pair of trades, and signed free agent Ronnie Price. In addition, Victor Claver and Joel Freeland, both previous draft picks acquired via trade, joined the squad.
The Blazers have a quality starting five. Their first unit’s scoring and field goals per game averages are the best in the league. LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging almost 21 points and eight rebounds a night. Damian Lillard has had an outstanding rookie campaign so far. He leads all rookies in scoring (19.1), assists (6.3) and steals (1.33). The sixth pick in the 2012 draft and just 22 years old, Lillard has started every game and impressed from the outset.
Another guy to keep your eye on is Nicolas Batum. He likes the 3-ball and has been shooting it well. It was his game-winning 3-pointer that lifted the Blazers past the Cavs on Saturday. Batum shoots 38 percent from outside and is tied for third in the NBA in made 3-pointers.
After four straight away from Indy, including a road game in Chicago Tuesday, the Pacers play four of their next five at home beginning with the Trail Blazers. Indiana will look to dominate the paint like last season, score over 100 points (3-0 when doing so) and contain Portland’s perimeter threats.
- C – Roy Hibbert | All-Star Voting »
- F – David West | All-Star Voting »
- F – Paul George | All-Star Voting »
- G – Lance Stephenson
- G – George Hill | All-Star Voting »
- C – J.J. Hickson
- F – LaMarcus Aldridge
- F – Nicolas Batum
- G – Wesley Matthews
- G – Damian Lillard
Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee)
Bulls: Elliot Williams (out, left Achilles tendon)
- The Pacers have won the last two meetings in the series, both coming at the Fieldhouse. However, the Trail Blazers have taken five of the last seven.
- Portland is 4-0 in overtime games.
- Pacers General Manager Kevin Pritchard worked for the Trail Blazers from 2004-2010 as director of player personnel (2004), interim head coach (in ‘05), assistant GM and later, GM (’06-10).
The Pacers took the lone meeting last season, 92-75 at home. At intermission, they were ahead by 10 and then broke it open in the third, outscoring the Blazers 27-14. Although the Blazers won the fourth period, Lou Amundson scored a career-high 21 points off the bench and made his first nine shots, to carry the Pacers to victory.
George Hill, Danny Granger and Paul George each had 11 points and David West tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds. Indiana controlled the paint – winning the rebounding battle and outscoring Portland 50 to 16.
Only two Blazers were in double-figures: LaMarcus Aldridge with 17 and Nolan Smith with 10. They struggled shooting, going 2-for-15 in the first quarter, and finishing the night at just 31 percent.
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)