Game Preview: Pacers at 76ers

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Wells Fargo Center

Game Preview: Pacers at 76ers

Scott Agness | March 11, 2014

Matchup

After just one game back in Indianapolis, the Pacers head back on the road for a pair of weekend games, beginning Friday night in Philadelphia. Friday's game is the second of three meetings between the Pacers and 76ers this year, the first being all the back in late November.

The 76ers are close to having the league’s worst record after losing 17 straight games (dating back to Jan. 31) and are 3-27 over their last 30 contests, as of Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday, Philadelphia embarks on a six-game stretch that includes five home games. Their lone road game over that stretch is in Indianapolis on March 17th.

There’s some familiarity between these two teams. About a half-hour after the trade deadline on Feb. 20, news broke that the Pacers had traded a second-round pick and Danny Granger in exchange for fourth-year forward Evan Turner. That wasn’t Philly’s only move midseason.

As a team looking to the future, they made four trades in total prior to the deadline. In doing so, the 76ers picked up six second-round picks in total, plus Earl Clark and Henry Sims from the Cavaliers, Eric Maynor from the Wizards, Byron Mullens from the Clippers and Danny Granger, of course, from the Pacers. The 76ers then waived Clark and reached a buyout agreement with Granger, who later joined the Clippers.

One of the lone bright spots this season for the 76ers has been the play of Michael Carter-Williams, who they selected at No. 11 in June’s draft. The guard out of Syracuse leads all rookies in points (16.9), rebounds (5.5), assists (6.3), and steals (2.04). He’s had a strong rookie campaign, in part because he’s playing 34.4 minutes per game, which leads all first-year players.

As moves have been made, Thaddeus Young, who didn’t play in the Nov. 23 meeting with Pacers but leads the Sixers in scoring, has elevated his play. Since the trade deadline, he has averaged 20.6 points.

The Pacers are still working to get out of a funk. Andrew Bynum makes his debut Tuesday night, playing over Ian Mahinmi, who’s dealing with a bruised rib. Mahinmi’s missed two games this season, the other coincidentally being the Pacers’ last go-round with Philadelphia, though that was so Vogel could get a look at the Pacers' roster flexibility.

Following Friday’s game in Philadelphia, the Pacers will jet northwest to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Saturday night and complete another set of back-to-back games this season (their 18th of 20).

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Michael Carter-Williams

Michael Carter-Williams

James Anderson

James Anderson

Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young

Hollis Thompson

Hollis Thompson

Henry Sims

Henry Sims

Injury Update

Pacers: C.J. Watson (day-to-day, sprained right elbow), Ian Mahinmi (day-to-day, bruised left rib)
76ers: Lorenzo Brown (doubtful, right foot soreness), Brandon Davies (out, fractured right small finger), Nerlens Noel (out, left knee injury)

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won three of the previous four meetings with Philadelphia.
  • The 76ers have lost 19 of their last 21 home games, including 13 straight, the longest single season streak in franchise history.

Last Meeting

November 23: The short-handed 76ers had no answer for Roy Hibbert in the post, as he scored a team-high 27 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and rejected six shots in a 106-98 Pacers win in Indy. The 76ers played unusual lineups with Spencer Hawes, Troy Wroten, and Thaddeus Young all sidelined with injuries. Hibbert had two key blocks late that helped them fend off Philly.

The 76ers attempted 102 shots, making just 35, but they managed 31 second-chance points off of 23 offensive rebounds. All five Indiana starters finished in double figures, with Paul George responsible for 19 points and Lance Stephenson knocking down 8-of-11 shots for 18. Michael Carter-Williams led all scorers with 29 points and Evan Turner finished with 21 & 11 for his former team.

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)

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