Pacers vs Bucks

Game Preview: Pacers vs Bucks

Monday, October 25, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

The Pacers (1-2) close out their first homestand of the season on Monday night against the defending NBA champions. After a pair of gut-wrenching road losses to open the year, the Blue & Gold grinded out an overtime win over the Heat in their first home game on Saturday and can now sweep the homestand with a victory over the Bucks (2-1).

Improved defense and bench play were the biggest reasons the Pacers were able to get in the win column on Saturday night. After surrendering 123 points in regulation in each of their first two games, the Pacers held Miami to just 86 points through four quarters and then pulled away in the extra session for a 102-91 win. On the night, Indiana held the Heat to just 39.2 percent shooting from the field and 25.6 percent from 3-point range.

And after averaging just 16 bench points over the first two games, the Pacers' reserves combined for 37 against the Heat. Oshae Brissett — who did not play in the season opener on Wednesday in Charlotte and went scoreless in eight minutes on Friday in Washington — tallied 18 points against Miami, going 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Brissett got an opportunity for extended minutes as starting big Myles Turner battled foul trouble and made the most of it, making a strong case for more playing time moving forward.

The Bucks have had an up-and-down start to the season. They delivered a statement on the same night they raised a banner on the opening night of the season, rolling to a 127-104 win over the Nets at home. They got blown out in Miami two nights later, but bounced back with a 10-point victory on Saturday night in San Antonio.

Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to be the focal point of Milwaukee's attack. The two-time regular-season and reigning Finals MVP is averaging 22.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists through three games. The Bucks have a number of capable guards and wings around Antetokounmpo, including former All-Stars Khris Middleton (19.3 points per game) and Jrue Holiday (14 points per contest).

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Chris Duarte, SF - Justin Holiday, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Bucks: PG - George Hill, SG - Grayson Allen, SF - Pat Connaughton, PF - Khris Middleton, C - Bam Adebayo

Injury Report

Pacers: Caris LeVert – out (sore back), Kelan Martin - out (sore left hamstring), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)

Bucks: Bobby Portis - questionable (left hamstring strain), Jrue Holiday - doubtful (left ankle sprain), Donte DiVincenzo - out (left ankle injury recovery), Brook Lopez - out (back soreness), Semi Ojeleye - out (left calf strain)

Last Meeting

May 13, 2021: The undermanned Pacers hung tough with the Bucks for most of the night, but ultimately came up short in a 140-133 loss in Indianapolis.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 40 points to lead the Bucks to victory, going 14-for-18 from the field and 11-for-16 from the free throw line while also tallying 15 rebounds and six assists.

Eight players scored in double figures for Indiana in the loss. Justin Holiday led the way with a team-high 26 points, going 8-for-12 from 3-point range, and T.J. McConnell tallied 23 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

The Pacers entered the night already with seven players and then saw All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis exit the game with a quad injury midway through the third quarter.

"When you play a team like that that has a lot of players that can score the ball and a team that plays almost like a machine, you have to play an almost perfect game to beat them," Holiday said. "We were missing guys, we had different guys in playing. I think we did a pretty good job with the guys that we had in there and how we played together and shot."

Noteworthy

  • The Bucks have won four in a row against Indiana and nine of the last 11.
  • Milwaukee swept the season series with the Pacers last season for the first time since 2009-10.
  • Pacers forward Torrey Craig began last season with Milwaukee, but was traded midseason to Phoenix and faced his former team in the 2021 NBA Finals.

Tickets

The Pacers continue their first homestand of the season on Monday, Oct. 25, when they welcome Giannis Antetokounmpo and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks to Gainbridge Fieldhouse at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)





by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

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