Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhosue

Game Preview: IND vs WAS

by Scott Agness

Matchup

Indiana returns home after a three-game road trip to face Washington Saturday night in their second set of back-to-back games this season.

The Wizards begin their 2012-13 campaign with a quality mix of experience, athleticism, and talent that they hope will lead them to the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08. Washington begins the year without its franchise player, though, as John Wall will miss at least eight weeks due to a left patellar injury.

Pacers fans will be familiar with the guy starting in Wall’s place: A.J. Price. The former third-string point guard for the Pacers signed with the Wizards over the summer and beat Butler University standout Shelvin Mack for the position. Through Washington’s first three games, Price is off to a career-best start, averaging 10 points, five assists, and 32 minutes of work per game.

As another weapon at the guard position, the Wizards selected Bradley Beal out of Florida with the third pick in the 2012 draft. Though only 19 years old, Beal is aggressive with the ball, a fearless shooter, and can be relentless on defense. It’s hard to predict how Beal will fare against the Pacers based on his start to the season, but he will definitely get minutes to show what he can do.

Other players to watch include Washington center Emeka Okafor, who returns after missing 39 games with a season-ending knee injury. Also, with Danny Granger out, Trevor Ariza may try to take advantage of Indiana’s weakness at small forward.

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Probable Starters

Pacers

  • C – Roy Hibbert
  • F – David West
  • F – Sam Young
  • G – Paul George
  • G – George Hill

Hawks

  • C – Emka Okafor
  • F – Trevor Booker
  • F– Trevor Ariza
  • G – Bradley Beal
  • G – A.J. Price

Injury Update

Pacers: Danny Granger (out, left knee injury), Jeff Pendergraph (doubtful, concussion)

Wizards: John Wall (out, left knee) Nene (out, left foot) Jordan Crawford (questionable, ankle)

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers won all three meetings last year, and have won five straight vs. the Wizards.
  • The Wizards are coached by Randy Wittman, who was part of Indiana University’s 1981 NCAA Title. He played at IU from 1979-83.
  • Wittman is assisted by Jerry Sichting, a captain on Purdue’s 1978-79 team that won the Big Ten title.

Last Meeting

The Pacers won all three meetings last season, but the first two were only by two and four points, respectively. The last time these teams met, Indiana was victorious, 109-96, in Washington on April 4. The Pacers came out firing in the first and third quarters, outscoring the Wizards by a combined 20 points. They were 14-of-16 from the field in the first quarter and shot 58 percent for the game.

Granger tallied 20 points, and Darren Collison finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Jordan Crawford went off for 28 points, while Kevin Seraphin recorded a double-double – a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Upcoming

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.

Broadcast Information

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), Bobby "Slick" Leonard (analyst)

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