Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers at New Jersey


Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers at New Jersey

SCOUTING THE PACERS: The good news is they’ve handled the Nets easily in two previous matchups this season, winning 124-92 on Jan. 28 and 105-86 on Feb. 6, running the Pacers’ win streak against New Jersey to six. The bad news is the biggest reasons they routed the Nets are no longer applicable. Mike Dunleavy racked up 47 points on 18-of-24 shooting (.750), including an astounding 11-of-13 from the 3-point line, in the two victories, but he’s out with a broken thumb. And the Pacers outscored the Nets 63-21 from the 3-point line, but whereas the arc was where everything began under former coach Jim O’Brien, it is a relative afterthought under Frank Vogel. Though the Pacers attempted 26 in a 99-78 loss in Memphis on Saturday night, that was an aberration. They’ve averaged 16.3 under Vogel.

SCOUTING THE NETS: New Jersey will have to play at least two more games without star point guard Deron Williams, who will have his sore right wrist re-evaluated after he sits out two more games. With Williams on the sideline, the Nets lost 98-92 in Washington on Sunday despite 17 assists from fill-in starter Jordan Farmar. The Nets have dropped three in a row after a five-game win streak as the offense has struggled, averaging 86.7 points in the skid.

KEY MATCHUP: It might turn out to be Roy Hibbert vs. the refs. The 7-2 center has been hit with five fouls in three straight and five of six. He ran into early foul trouble Sunday in Memphis and wound up playing just 11 minutes, scoring two points. Against Brook Lopez, the Pacers need Hibbert on the floor for at least 30 minutes.

QUOTE MARKS: “He has been our go-to, aside from Danny. Danny is a great player. He is our All-Star. Tyler Hansbrough plays great basketball; he has really been the toughness and the backbone of this team.” – Paul George

INJURY REPORT: For the Pacers, Mike Dunleavy (broken left thumb) is out. For the Nets, Deron Williams (right wrist) and Quinton Ross (sore lower back) are out.

BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Indiana with Chris Denari and Clark Kellogg calling the game and Stacy Paetz on the sideline, with a pre-game show starting at 6:30. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Austin Croshere, with Kevin Lee reporting.

INTERACT: You can chat live with fans around the country in our live game blog which begins at tipoff.