Pacers at Clippers

Shootaround: PG on Clips, Player of the Week

December 2, 2015 - After shootaround, Paul George talked with media about tonight's matchup versus the Clippers, and talked about receiving the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award.

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Shootaround: PG on Clips, Player of the Week

December 2, 2015 - After shootaround, Paul George talked with media about tonight's matchup versus the Clippers, and talked about receiving the Eastern Conference Player of the Week award.
Dec 2, 2015  |  01:07

Game Preview: Pacers at Clippers

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 10:30 PM at Staples Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss






Last Updated: Dec. 2 at 10:00 AM

Matchup

The Pacers' extended stay in the Hollywood Hills comes to an end on Wednesday night, when Indiana (11-5) returns to Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Clippers (10-8). The Blue & Gold beat the Lakers in the same building on Sunday evening.

The Pacers are flying high, winners of five straight and 11 of their last 13. Paul George is playing as well as any player in the NBA. But the Clippers present an interesting challenge to the new-look Pacers.

Photo Gallery: The Pacers' Last 10 Games Versus the Clippers »

Indiana is 5-3 on the road this season, but they've lost close contests against the three best teams they've played on the road so far: Toronto, Cleveland, and Chicago. The Clippers have sputtered out of the gates this year, but they have won four of their last five and their entire core is back from a team that has won 56 or more games in each of the past three seasons. There is no question that a win over the Clips would be the Pacers' best road win to-date.

Indiana's new small-ball identity faces a stiff test in the form of LA's dynamic frontcourt duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Griffin and Jordan are combining for over 35 points and 21 rebounds per game and are both elite athletes who are a load to contain on the offensive glass. Their presence might be enough to inspire Pacers head coach Frank Vogel to start two traditional big men, a tactic he's deployed selectively against "bigger" teams so far this season.

Though they've gotten off to an uneven start to the year, the Clippers still boast one of the league's best offenses. The Clips rank fourth in the NBA in offensive rating, averaging 104.6 points per 100 possessions. On the flip side, the Pacers are an elite defensive team, allowing just 95.5 points per 100 possessions, the tied for the second-best defensive rating in the league.

One key to the Clippers' efficiency is their ability to limit turnovers. Under the steady hand of perennial All-NBA point guard Chris Paul (whose status for Wednesday is in doubt after leaving Monday's win in Portland with a rib injury), Los Angeles averages just 13.4 turnovers per game, second-fewest in the league. But creating turnovers is another of the Pacers' strengths, as they are third in the NBA in steals per game (9.6).

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - George Hill, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - C.J. Miles, PF - Paul George, C - Ian Mahinmi
Clippers: PG - Chris Paul, SG - J.J. Redick, SF - Luc Mbah a Moute, PF - Blake Griffin, C - DeAndre Jordan

Injury Report

Pacers: Myles Turner - out (chip fracture, left thumb)

Clippers: Chris Paul - questionable (inflamed rib cartilage)

Last Meeting

December 17, 2014: The Clippers held off the Pacers in Los Angeles, coming away with a narrow 102-100 win to sweep the season series with the Blue & Gold.The Clippers held a decided advantage at the free throw line, going 28-for-45 from the charity stripe while Indiana attempted just 23 fouls shots (and made 16).

Dvid West led the Pacers with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while C.J. Miles added 17 points off the bench. Lavoy Allen chipped in with his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds, eight of them on the offensive glass.

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan each had monster nights for the Clippers. Griffin finished with 31 points and 16 rebounds, while Jordan had 15 points and 23 boards. Chris Paul was also excellent, contributing 20 points, six rebounds, nine assists, and five steals to the victory.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers' next win will be their 2000th in franchise history. Over nine ABA and 40 NBA seasons, Indiana has an overall record of 1999-1910 (.511).
  • Last season was the first time the Clippers swept the regular season series with the Pacers since the 2004-05 campaign.
  • Wednesday's game marks the first half of the Pacers' first set of back-to-back games since Nov. 8-9. Indiana is 1-2 so far on the first night of a back-to-back.
  • Clippers guard Lance Stephenson will face off against the Pacers for the fifth time in his career on Wednesday. While with Charlotte last season, Stephenson averaged 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists on 39.5 percent shooting against the team that drafted him in the second round in 2010.

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 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

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