Game Preview: Pacers vs Clippers
Thursday, February 28th at 7:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: IND vs LAC
Scott Agness | February 26, 2013 | Updated: February 27th at 5:44 PM
Editor's Note: Fans will be able to enter the seating area 90 minutes before tip-off for this game and the Sunday matchup with Bulls. Fans arriving early will be able to enjoy the various entertainment and dining options of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including the Player Greeting Session near the Main Court, Pacemates and Boomer autograph sessions on the Main Concourse, and the full menu of Fieldhouse concessions
For the second game in a row, the Pacers host one of the top powers in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Clippers pay their only visit to Indianapolis in an intriguing matchup for a number of reasons.
The Clippers, who have the third-best record out West, are strong in a variety of areas. They have two All-Stars in 2013 All-Star game MVP Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. They have the highest-producing backcourt and bench in the NBA. And they have Jamal Crawford (a guy the Pacers reportedly have interest in signing over the summer), who’s arguably the league’s Sixth Man of the Year. Crawford missed their game Tuesday against Charlotte because his wife gave birth to his baby girl.
Though the Clippers have a trio of young players, nine guys on their roster have seven or more years of experience. In comparison, the Pacers only have two.
Griffin leads the team in scoring, with over 18 points per game. He’s been particularly special in their last seven games, finishing with at least 17+ points, 7+ rebounds and 2+ assists in each game.
George Hill defended Stephen Curry on Tuesday and now he’ll have his hands full with Paul, one of the league’s premier point guards. In addition to his 16 points per game, Paul leads the league in assists per game (9.5), just ahead of Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez. Paul is one of the top facilitators and floor generals in the league.
The highlight of the Clippers' season so far perhaps came in December when they won all 16 games. They’ve won six of their last seven games, and their last three road contests. On the road versus Eastern Conference foes, the Clippers are 7-6.
Meanwhile, the Pacers have won five in a row and 10 of their last 12 games. If it wasn’t for two overtimes losses at home before All-Star break, they’d be the arguably the hottest team in the league right now. All 10 of those wins have been by double-digits, so they’re not just winning, but winning big.
The Pacers have learned that Roy Hibbert will be suspended for the Clippers game for his role in an altercation during Tuesday’s win over Golden State.
Clippers: Trey Thompkins (out, left knee bone bruise)
"We play a physical, clean brand of basketball. That’s something that we want to do. We want that to be part of our identity." – Frank Vogel
"Low turnovers, transition defense. They’re the best in the league in stealing the basketball and forcing turnovers. When they get out in the open court, what’s their nickname, Lob City, so we got to sprint back ... If you help at all they just lob it up to the rim and they got guys that can go get it. If you don’t help enough, Chris Paul burns you. Maybe the most challenging pick-and-roll attack in the NBA." – Frank Vogel the critical areas against the Clippers
"Him in the open court and him in the pick-and-roll game, three-point shooting, he’s got it all." – Frank Vogel on Chris Paul
- The Pacers have won five of their last eight meetings, including three in a row at home.
- The Clippers are 28-6 when scoring at least 100 points.
- Clippers forward Lamar Odom is one double-double shy from No. 300 in his career.
- Keep an eye on the Clippers' warm-up lines, which are often confused as dunk lines.
- Fans will be able to enter the seating area 90 minutes before tip-off for this game and the Sunday matchup with Bulls.
Leandro Barbosa scored 12 points in 18 minutes to lead the Pacers in his debut with the team, helping Indiana to a 102-89 victory. The Pacers had an eight-point lead at halftime and led by as many as 19 in their only meeting with the Clippers last season.
Danny Granger scored a game-high 25 points, and both George Hill and Tyler Hansbrough contributed 15 points off the bench. Power forward Blake Griffin paced the Clippers with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Chris Paul had 16 points and eight dimes.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: 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), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
Good seats are still available for the Pacers-Clippers matchup. Find Tickets »