Pacers at Cavaliers

Shootaround: Pacers on Slowing Down Cavs

February 29, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and guard Victor Oladipo talked about the keys to slowing down Cleveland's attacking backcourt.

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Shootaround: Pacers on Slowing Down Cavs

February 29, 2020 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and guard Victor Oladipo talked about the keys to slowing down Cleveland's attacking backcourt.
Feb 29, 2020  |  01:14

Game Preview: Pacers at Cavaliers

Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

After sweeping a two-game homestand, the Pacers hit the road for their longest remaining road trip of the season. Indiana (35-24) opens a five-game trip on Saturday night in Cleveland against Kevin Love and the Cavaliers (17-42).

This trip — which also includes visits to San Antonio, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Dallas — could make or break the Blue & Gold's bid to earn homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. With 23 games remaining in the regular season, the Pacers are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games back of Miami and Philadelphia, who are tied for fourth. The top four seeds host first-round playoff series.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Latest Standings, Magic Numbers, and More »

The most encouraging storyline for the Pacers' two-game win streak might be the play of 6-11 center Myles Turner.

Turner has been more deferential much of this season, willingly taking on a lesser offensive role after the emergence of fellow 6-11 big man Domantas Sabonis as an All-Star. But Turner has been noticeably more aggressive on both ends lately. He has collected 10 rebounds in two straight games, had a career-high eight blocks in Tuesday's rout of Charlotte, and hit the game-sealing 3-pointer in the closing seconds of Thursday's win over Portland.

Turner will be tested against Cleveland's frontcourt, no matter who is in uniform. The Cavaliers acquired Andre Drummond, the NBA's leading rebounder, from Detroit at the trade deadline, though Drummond will not play in Friday's game at New Orleans. But even without Drummond, the Cavs have two talented veteran big men in five-time All-Star Love (17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game) and Tristan Thompson (12.2 points and 10.2 boards per contest).

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Cavaliers: PG - Darius Garland, SG - Collin Sexton, SF - Cedi Osman, PF - Kevin Love, C - Andre Drummond

Injury Report

Pacers: Edmond Sumner - questionable (sore left hip), Jeremy Lamb - out (torn left ACL)

Cavaliers: Andre Drummond - questionable (left calf strain), Dante Exum - out (left ankle sprain), Alfonzo McKinnie - out (left foot plantar fasciitis), Dylan Windler - out (right lower leg stress reaction)

Last Meeting

November 1, 2019: The Pacers dominated the paint and the boards in a 102-95 win over the Cavaliers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana outscored Cleveland 56-38 on the interior in the win and outrebounded the Cavs 58-45 overall and 13-3 on the offensive glass.

The victory avenged a 110-99 loss six days earlier in Cleveland.

"I feel like in the last game we didn't come out with that much energy and they beat us badly on the boards, so Coach really put an emphasis on it tonight," Domantas Sabonis said. "We came out tonight and everybody did their job."

Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 25 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Sabonis (18 points and 17 rebounds) and Jeremy Lamb (21 points and 10 boards) both recorded double-doubles.

Kevin Love had a team-high 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavaliers. Collin Sexton added 21 points, while Jordan Clarkson scored 20 off the bench.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won seven of their last 10 regular season games against the Cavaliers.
  • Indiana and Cleveland meet once more this season on March 21 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova was teammates with Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon from 2016-18 in Milwaukee.

Tickets

After a five-game road trip, the Pacers return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Ticketmaster - 2019-20 Pacers tickets

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

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