Copland Leads Pacers to Victory/Stones Sport Report
On Saturday night the Indiana Pacers found themselves facing against the Mavericks bench players. Dallas had decided to rest all 5 starters and start the unguaranteed contract players. This was most likely to see who was worthy of making the team and who would be cut. As for the Pacers they started an interesting rotation; Rodney Stuckey was out with a left foot injury and Frank Vogel decided Chris Copeland and move C.J. Miles to shooting guard.
The Pacers got off to rough start, turning the ball over 7 times in the first quarter and it seemed like David West took most of the shots in the first. Thing didn’t change for the Pacers come the 2nd quarter and Dallas got out to a 10 point lead. The score at halftime being 52-42. Dallas was led by rookie point guard Gal Mekel (finished with 19 points).
David West went down in the first quarter with a minor ankle injury and will miss the last 2 preseason games of the season. He expects to be back for opening night on October 29th.
In the second half things changed a lot, Chris Copeland and Richard Jefferson had a battle. It seemed like every other play Copeland or Jefferson was scoring. The Pacers very clearly made it mission to shoot a lot of 3 pointers. As a team they shot 27 threes; 14 being from Copeland.
George Hill really ran the offense well, making sure things flowed with ball movement and always found the open shooter. He finished with 10 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Frank Vogel made sure that Chris Copeland got his shots up and I think you’ll see plenty more of that throughout the season. Don’t expect them to take 27 threes a game but expect the numbers to rise from last season. In 2013 the Pacers shot 18.8 3s per game, and shot 35%. Expect both of those numbers to go up considerably.
In the 4th quarter the Pacers shot 75% from the field in the 4th quarter, and went on a long 18-3 run to take the lead. That due to Donald Sloan scoring 12 of his 15 points in the 4th and Copeland hit 2 straight 3 pointers to give the Pacers a one point lead. Chris Copeland finished with 22 points, 5 rebound and 2 steals to lead them to their 2nd preseason victory.
The Pacers will make a trip Tuesday to Minnesota for their 2nd to last preseason game of the season. You’ll most likely see Vogel rest the starters more and they’ll play the bench and extras a lot more. Remember they’ll be making cuts soon, so look out to see the final roster released.