Pacers vs Bucks

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Game Preview: Pacers vs Bucks

Monday, March 5, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

After a four-game road trip, the Pacers (36-27) return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday night to host the Milwaukee Bucks (34-29) and tip off a three-game homestand.

Last week's trip started poorly for Indiana, with disappointing losses to the Mavericks and Hawks, two of the worst teams of the league. But the Blue & Gold bounced back nicely over the weekend, winning in Milwaukee on Friday and again in Washington on Sunday, two teams battling it out with the Pacers for playoff positioning.

Friday's win over the Bucks was especially important, as it secured the head-to-head tiebreaker for the Pacers over their Central Division rivals. Indiana is 2-1 against Milwaukee on the year, but even if the Bucks win on Monday night, they would lose the second tiebreaker to the Pacers because of an inferior division record.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

That's not to say that Monday's game isn't important to the Pacers. With just three-and-a-half games separating third through eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, every game is of the utmost importance.

Monday will also mark the Pacers debut for veteran forward Trevor Booker, who signed with Indiana late on Saturday night.

Booker, who has averaged 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game over his eight-year career and 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds over 51 games this season with Brooklyn and Philadelphia, adds depth and experience to the Pacers' frontcourt, which features two 21-year-old centers in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Booker is expected to immediately enter into the rotation, backing up Thaddeus Young at power forward.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Cory Joseph, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Bucks: PG - Eric Bledsoe, SG - Tony Snell, SF - Khris Middleton, PF - Giannis Antetokounmpo, C - John Henson

Injury Report

Pacers: Darren Collison - out (left knee arthroscopic surgery rehab)

Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon - out (left quad tendon injury), Matthew Dellavedova - out (right ankle sprain), Tony Snell - probable (right thigh contusion), Mirza Teletovic - out (pulmonary emboli)

Last Meeting

March 2, 2018: The Pacers used a 14-1 run midway through the third quarter to open up a nine-point lead and held on the rest of the way for a 103-96 win over the Bucks in Milwaukee.

"We got back to what we are comfortable doing," Pacers point guard Cory Joseph said about the pivotal stretch. "Victor (Oladipo) got going. When he gets going he puts so much pressure on the defense. He was going downhill, he was finding people, and he got us into a rhythm."

Oladipo led the Pacers with 21 points (17 of them coming in the second half), while also collecting seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Lance Stephenson added 16 points off the bench, while Myles Turner contributed 13 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks.

Khris Middleton led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 24 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks for Milwaukee.

Noteworthy

  • Indiana is 5-7 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back, including a 2-3 record at home.
  • The Bucks have won one of two games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in each of the past three seasons. They need a victory on Monday to extend that streak to a fourth straight season.
  • Victor Oladipo has had at least one steal in 46 consecutive games, the longest streak in Pacers franchise history.
  • Bojan Bogdanovic has scored in double figures in 12 straight games, averaging 8.8 points and shooting 46.9 percent from 3-point range over that span.

Tickets

The Pacers are back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday, March 5 at 7:00 PM ET. Tickets are available starting at just $12. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

Pacers Team Store Game Night Special

Headware Sale - Select Hats at $12 Each. The Game Night Special can be purchased at the Pacers Team Store on game day, as well as online from 10:00 AM-Midnight. Order Online »