GameDay Preview: Cavs at Pacers
The Cavaliers (5-17) head to Indiana for their seventh back-to-back of the season tonight to take on the Pacers (10-11) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tipoff at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Looking to build momentum from their 100-94 victory last night over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Wine and Gold hope to extend the Pacers current two-game losing streak.
In Kyrie Irving's return against the Lakers, the sophomore signal caller tallied 28 points to go along with a season-high 11 assists. On the season, Irving is averaging 23.4 points and 6.1 assists. C.J. Miles also bucketed 28 points last night in his first start of the 2012-13 campaign.
With their All-Star forward Danny Granger sidelined with a knee injury, Indiana is led by power forward David West whom is averaging team-highs in points (17.5) and rebounds (8.6).
Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic
Cavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Anderson Varejao
Pacers: PG - George Hill, SG - Lance Stephenson, SF - Paul George
PF - David West, C - Roy Hibbert
*Subject to change
The Cavaliers trail the all-time series against the Pacers, 83-82, posting a 52-32 mark in games played at home with the Pacers tallying a 51-30 record in games played in their home arena.
The two teams met in preseason action on October 23rd with the Pacers handing the Cavs a 100-82 loss at The Q despite 20 points from Kyrie Irving and 18 points from Alonzo Gee.
Key to the Game/Key Matchup
Key to the GameDefense, Defense, Defense
The Cavaliers had a solid defensive performance last night, holding the Lakers to seven points below their season average. Minus Kobe Bryant, the Wine and Gold held the Lakers to a mere 31 percent shooting (15-47) from the field. They will need another good showing against a stellar Pacers defense.
Indiana has held their last seven opponents to an average of 90.9 ppg on 42 percent shooting from the floor (231-545). The Pacers rank as the league’s third-best in terms of defensive scoring average (91.8 ppg) and leads the NBA in defensive field goal percentage at a shade above 41 percent.
Cavs bigs vs. Pacers bigs
Indiana has one of the best starting frontcourts in the entire NBA with David West and Roy Hibbert. The Cavaliers counter with the activity of starters Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller off the bench.
The Cavs have tied or outrebounded their opponent in offensive rebounds in 19 of their 22 games so far with an average of 14.1 offensive rebounds per game (2nd) to their opponents’ 10.1, which is the lowest in the NBA. Overall, the Cavs are allowing the 8th-lowest rebound average in the NBA (40.7).
The Pacers bigs clog the paint and defensively, Indiana is the only NBA team that has held its opponents to 37 points or less a game in the paint (35.5). Furthermore, the opposition has scored 38.7 percent of its points from the paint which is also lowest in the NBA.
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