Hibbert set to return Vs. Suns

Roy Hibbert, Goran Dragic

Roy Hibbert has missed the last 4 games with a sprained ankle; suffered against the Suns in the 1st quarter last week. He is expected to be back on the floor against the Suns tonight.

When the Pacers played the Suns last week, they struggled. Allowing an explosive, guard heavy offense to score 106, and only managed to scrap together 83 points.

Tonight things will be a lot different. With David West and Roy Hibbert back, they both need to perform. Phoenix has a guard oriented offense. Basically its a 3 headed monster of point guards; Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Isiah Thomas. So not only will they need to control them scoring in protecting the paint; they’ll need to go at Miles Plumlee and Marcus Morris on offense.

If West and Hibbert can put up 30-40 points together, we should easily win this game. The issue being that Donald Sloan, C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey will have there hands full on the defensive side.

If we can at least slow the explosive west coast offense down, it’ll be a close one. The Pacers are 7-10 and will look to take one step closer to a .500 record and move up from the 8th seed in the East.

Pacers Vs. Suns Preview

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Former Pacers Miles Plumlee and Gerald Green will make a trip back to their former team in Indianapolis. After being traded along with a first round pick to Phoenix, for Luis Scola; they’ve both thrived in new roles. Plumlee has blossomed into a solid starting center, rebounding and defending well. As for Gerald Green his playing minutes have increased after being benched in Indiana.

Tonight these 2 teams will go at it. Phoenix run a guard-heavy offense, while the Pacers run a post-heavy (Hibbert) offense. Which one will win out?

The Suns have got 3 guards who score a large amount of their points; Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, and Eric Bledsoe. Each of them averaging 13-15 points per game. So, the practically guard-less Pacers will need to pick up the pace tonight, against a heavy fast break Suns team.

Roy Hibbert will be the difference in tonight. Going up against youngsters Miles Plumlee and Alex Len, he should get any shot that he wants. We’ll need a solid 20-10 game from him, if we want a shot at victory.

The Suns are allowing an average 103.5 points per game, compared to the Pacers 93.

Tonight it will be an experienced banged up Pacers team, against a young and explosive west coast Suns. Its going to come down to turnovers in the end. If the Pacers play their normal defense and take care of the basketball, they’ll win their 6th of 7 games.

This will make an interesting match up tonight, considering the 2 teams’ history. Look for Hibbert to have a great game, if not; expect a loss.

Pacers Vs. Bulls Preview

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers

Injury Report:

Pacers:

David West PF; ankle, out

George Hill PG; knee, out

C.J. Miles SF; calf, out

Rodney Stuckey SG; foot, out

C.J. Watson PG; foot, out

Bulls:

Derrick Rose PG; hamstring, out

 

The Indiana Pacers will face their toughest test yet; the Chicago Bulls. Each team with injuries to their best players, it will be a small fraction of the competition we would normally see.

The Chicago Bulls sit near the top of the Eastern Conference at 7-2, while the Pacer sit near the bottom at 3-7. Given the circumstances on each team; these records make sense. The Pacers are riddled with injuries left and right, and the Bulls have got an easy road to the playoffs, with a bad eastern conference.

The match up that always is the center of attention in this rivalry is the big men; Joakim Noah Vs. Roy Hibbert. Both being possibly, the 2 best post defenders in the league; it will make for a defensive battle you’ve got to see. Whoever can win this matchup in the rebounding category, will most likely win this game.

I expect things to be low scoring, given the defensive mindedness of Frank Vogel and Tom Thibedou. A score similar to that of the Pacers most recent victory over the Heat 81-75. The Bulls are 12th i the league in points allowed, which isn’t great, but should suffice against a offensively struggling Pacers team. Indiana is 19th in points scored per game at 91.2. This due to injuries and also the lack of 3 point shot attempts.

If the Pacers want to come out of Chicago with a win they’ll need 2 things; a 20-10 game form Roy Hibbert and 3 point shooting.

The Pacers have a large amount of 3 point shooters on this team, but they haven’t taken advantage of it. They’re not getting enough 3 point shots up, although the struggles of Damo Rudez and Chris Copeland doesn’t help. If the Pacers can catch fire from 3, they’ve got a shot against a solid Bulls team.

I predict a Bulls victory tonight. With the Pacers coming off a embarrassing loss, they’ll fight for a win; but Chicago is just flat out a better and healthier team. Solomon Hill Vs. Jimmy Butler will be an interesting match up, because they play in very similar ways; defensive mindedly and aggressively.

The Pacers and Bulls will face off tonight at 8:00. It will be a rough matchup, and a battle of the central division.

Nuggets Blow Out Pacers

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Friday Night the Pacers faced off against a 1-6 Denver team. However Brian Shaw’s Nuggets did not play like 1-6 team. In the first half, things were competitive, and it seemed as if things would be closer in the second half. That did not happen.

The Pacers struggled to score the basketball, and slacked tremendously on defense; allowing Denver to reach 92 points before the 3rd quarter ended. The Pacers starters only managed to score 42 points, and shot 16-48 from the field. Chris Copeland struggled the most, shooting 10% on the night.

As for Denver things came very easily. They took 25 trips to the free throw line and shot 49.4% on the night. Led by Aaron Afflalo who scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting. Like i said in my Pacers Vs. Nuggets preview, Denver is better than their record shows, they’ve got depth and whole lot of talent.

Indiana native Gary Harris made his first appearance as a pro in his home town, and had a quality scoring night with 13 points.

Roy Hibbert struggled on offense. Scoring 9 points on 3-9 shooting. However he defended Mozgov well, holding him to 3 points.

The final score was an embarrassing 108-87.

The Pacers will need to pick up the pace and Saturday, as they head to Chicago for a tough division battle.

 

Pacers Vs. Nuggets Preview

 

 

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Injury Report:

Pacers:

David West PF; out, ankle

George Hill PG; out, foot

C.J. Watson PG; out, foot

Rodney Stuckey SG; out, foot

Nuggets:

Randy Foye SG; out, knee

The Pacers will face off against a 1-6 Nuggets team. First things first, overlook their record. This Denver team is averaging a little over 100 points per game, and are 7th in the league in rebounding. This is a deep team, their bench is quality all around; with Danilo Gallinari and J.J. Hickson off the bench first, this presents a challenge for the Pacers reserves.

Ty Lawson will be guarded by Donald Sloan tonight, not saying that Sloan hasnt done a great job this year; but Ty Lawsons speed could be an issue. Lawson is having a quality season averaging 16.7 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. If the Pacers want to win this game; theyre going to have to slow down Lawson.

Roy Hibbert should help guard the paint, as normal, and will present a road block for Lawson in the lane. Hibbert’s matchup tonight is Timofey Mozgov. He will need to take advantge of the younger center on both ends of the floor. He shouldn’t have an issue scoring the basketball. I expect a solid 20 points- 10 rebound night from Roy.

Solomon Hill wil be challenged  guarding Aaron Afflalo, who came to Denver this offseason via trade from Orlando for Even Fornier. Hill has struggled recently on the offensive side of things; shooting 1-12 from the field last night. On the contrary his defense has been outstanding; Wednesday holding Dwayne Wade to 9 points in the second half.2

The Nuggets are 29th in the league in points allowed at 111. Indiana needs to take advantage of this with their shooters; Chris Copeland, Damo Rudez, etc.

C.J. Miles will be returning to the lineup after having migraine symptoms all this week. Miles has struggled in a Pacers uniform this season; shooting 17% from 3, and 25% from the field. However this s not normal for Miles, and things should pick up soon. Everything evens out in a long 82 NBA season.

I expect the Pacers to win this game. Their defense will play a large role in that, and with Denver allowing 111 points per game this year; the Pacers can get whatever shot they want. However Denver does have a dangerous bench, although they will be without Randy Foye. The Pacers will look to win their 4th game of the season and climb closer to a .500 record.

 

 

Solid Game From Hibbert Leads Pacers to Victory

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The Heat Vs. Pacers rival lives on, despite the loss of Lebron James heading back to Cleveland and Paul George breaking his leg; things went as expected. Competitive and defense oriented.

The game was close all the way through. It seemed like Dwayne Wade was going to be an issue for Solomon Hill, scoring 11 points in the first quarter. It wasn’t. Hill did a great job the rest of the game, only allowing him to score 9 points the rest of the game. Statistically Solomon Hill did not go well; he shot 1-12 from the field and scored 9 points, but pulled down 10 rebounds. His defensive performance was key for the Pacers.

The battle of most intrigue was Chris Bosh Vs. Roy Hibbert. As i expected Hibbert dominated Bosh on both sides of the ball. On defense bosh struggled to get anywhere inside the paint, or even shoot over Hibbert. At one point he blocked a long jumper in crunch time. Bosh finished with a season low 9 points. On offense Hibbert got any shot that he wanted. Post hook, layup, jumper. Anything. Roy finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. He helped the Pacers destroy the Heat in the rebounding battle; 53-28, that led to 19 second chance points for Indiana.

The defense on both sides of the ball was solid. The Pacers found themselves tied at 72, late in the 4th quarter. It was a defensive battle from here on out. Donald Sloan, who has been starting for the Pacers all season, due to injuries of George Hill and C.J. Watson; came down the floor, with time ticking on the shot clock, knocks down a 3 with a hand in his face. 75-72 Pacers. Fairly quickly Dwayne Wade hits a 3 to tie the ball game with around 40 seconds to go. Who would the Pacers give the ball to in this situation?

None other than Pacer-fan-favorite Chris Copeland, was handed the ball on an out of bounds play, he then quickly blew past Loul Deng for an open floater. Pacers lead. 77-75. From then on out it was all Pacers defense. The final score 81-75. That all due to a solid team effort, it seems regardless of the competition and situation; the Pacers always play hard. Frank Vogel is really being tested as a coach and is thriving. Hes doing very well with what hes got.

The one thing the Pacers will need to continue improving on is turnovers. Taking care of the basketball. Indiana had 16 last night and are averaging 15.7 a game.

The Pacers will next see the 1-6 Denver Nuggets, and old coach Brian Shaw. It should be a defensive minded game, just like the last. It will be the Pacers 5th home game and 10th game of the season.

Pacers Vs. Heat Preview

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Injury Report:

Pacers:

C.J. Miles SF; head, out

C.J. Watson PG; foot, out

George Hill PG; ankle, out

David West PF: knee, out

Rodney Stuckey SG; foot, out

Heat:

Danny Granger SF; hamstring, day-to-day

Justin Hamilton C; groin, out

A Conference Finals rematch between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat will take place Wednesday Night in South Beach, Florida.

Each team gas changed a lot since last season. LeBron James Miami to go back to his old home in Ohio. Paul George broke his tibia in a USA basketball exhibition game and is out for the entire season most likely.

In the off season Chris Bosh earned himself a large max contract. So far he has lived up to that. Leading the charge for the Heat, hes averaging 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Without LeBron on the Heat team, Bosh is heavily relied on for offense.

For the Pacers Roy Hibbert has been the focus of the offense, and often Frank Vogel looks to play through him. So far this year hes looking like the classic all-star caliber Roy Hibbert, and that’s the one they’ll need. So far hes averaging 14.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per game. Those are numbers we would love to stay consistent.

The story of intrigue is Danny Granger facing his old team. Last off season Larry Bird looked to sign Danny Granger again, but Lance Stephenson took to long to decide on his contract and and Danny signed with Miami. It will be nice to see Danny again, but business as usual we need to beat Miami.

The Pacers coming off a win vs. Utah, they’ll need to build on this and hold down the fort until the Pacers injured players get back. They’re going to need another solid game form Solomon Hill on both sides of the basketball. He will be challenged guarding Dwayne Wade and likely will struggle to score points on the defensive side.

Chris Copeland has recently been starting for Indiana Due to C.J. Miles recent migraine issues. Copeland will have a very tough match up against defensive savvy Loul Deng.

I expect a competitive game in South Beach. The Pacers should match up decently despite injuries. If Roy Hibbert can dominate Chris Bosh like he has in the past, a victory is very possible. The issue would be scoring points, if the Pacers can reach the triple digit mark, they can win this game.

Pacers Snap 6 Game Losing Streak

royhibbert
The Pacers finally snap a 6 game losing streak. It was the longest since 2011 and each loss was of a deficit less than 10 points.
Roy Hibbert led the charge with 29 points, 5 rebounds and a block. He was the go to go from start to finish, as Vogel looked to keep him the center of the offense, He got off to a quick start scoring 17 of his 25 in the first half and helped the Pacers win their second straight this season.
Indy moved the ball well early on and only turned the ball over 7 times. That’s a big feat considering they’re averaging 17 a game and allow along of points off turnovers. It’s nice to see the Pacers cleaning up their game, because that’s what they need. They’ve been playing hard and working hard, but sometimes that doesn’t cut it; you’ve got to play smart.
Indiana native Gordon Hayward returned to his home state for tonight’s game; and had himself a night with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. He was the pulse of the Jazz on offense tonight, as they struggled to score the ball at certain points and eventually Hayward could not carry all of the load down the stretch and eventually the Pacers took over.
A.J. Price returned to the Pacers last week, via hardship waiver placed by the Pacers. Tonight he made the difference with a near-career-high 22 points in 25 minutes and led the offense while Donald Sloan took rest on the bench.
This is not only a literal victory for the Pacers, but a mental one. Getting past a 6 game winning streak is big. It restores confidence, and team chemistry. At some points on the floor, its very easy to tell that these guys have never played together. With George Hill, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles, C.J. Watson, David West and Paul George all out many players are playing, that would not normally see minutes.
It should give the Pacers fans confidence that we can still win games without all those key players and continue to improve.
Solomon Hill had another nice game with 13 points and will continue to build and improve on his game. Lavoy Allen was stellar tonight with a double-double (12 points, 15 rebounds) and has proved he deserves more minutes off the bench at the power forward and center positions.
The Pacers next game will be an Eastern Conference Finals rematch against a LeBron-less Miami Heat. This should make for an interesting Wednesday night matchup on ESPN.

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game/Stone Sport Report

Offensive Struggle Cost Pacers Game
Stone Miller

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The injuries are an obvious problem for the Pacers; with no David West, George Hill, and C.J. Watson; but it was no excuse for Tuesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Chris Copeland led the Pacers in scoring again, dropping 19 points; but also shot 6-15. Roy Hibbert yet again had another solid game and is (for now) the only consistently positively playing starter. He finished with a line of 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks. The large issue for the Pacers turnovers. They committed 19 turnovers; they Bucks took advantage of this and scored a whopping 28 points off of them.
The Pacers shot the ball very poorly Tuesday, 39% from the field, 25% from 3 and an absoutly awful 59% from the free throw line. The Bucks had a solid night overall, only committing 12 turnovers, compared to their average 21, and didn’t have trouble scoring the ball with 87 points on the night.
Brandon Night had himself quite a night scoring 23 points and dishing out 7 assists. He led the offensive tempo well on the fast break and helped spread the floor with his confident shooting. Larry Sanders lead his team with 10 rebounds, but however was held scoreless by Roy Hibbert.
The few positives from this game are the performances of Roy Hibbert and Solomon Hill. Solo scored a career high 12 points, posted 5 rebounds and 2 steals. He looked confident shooting the 3 and had a sweet spin move for a layup in the 4th quarter. Let’s hope Solomon becomes more confident; because he passed up many open shots and ended up turning the ball over 4 times. If Solomon Hill can improve this season that would really help the Pacers find more scoring options in the starting lineup. With a deeply struggling C.J. Miles and Luis Scola we could use the offensive help.
The Pacers will next face a 3-1 “new-look” Wizards team, and will try to grab a victory before heading out to 2 more games in the next 3 days. The Pacers badly need a confidence boost on the offensive side of the ball, hopefully they get the 3s popping early and often to get out in front of a Bradly Beal-less Wizards team.

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener/Stone Sport Report

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener
Stone Miller

Pacers Vs. 76ers Season Opener

Injury Report:
Pacers:
David West PF; out, ankle
George Hill PG; day-to-day, knee
C.J. Watson PG; out, foot
Rodney Stuckey SG; day-to-day, foot
76ers:
Micael Carter Williams PG; out, shoulder
Jason Richardson SG; out, foot fracture
Jeremi Grant SF; out, ankle

In the Pacers season opener they will be missed 3 key players. David West, Georg Hill and C.J.Watson; possibly for the first week of the season. They will be facing up against a very young and banged up Philadelphia 76ers team.
Indiana shouldn’t have too much trouble facing this group of youngsters, but I do expect a close game. Roy Hibbert will need to lead the offense and bring his defensive presence if they Pacers want to win their season opener. Hibbert was under much scrutiny last season; after having a bad second half of the season, and a few scoreless playoff games. This off season he worked with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and expects to drastically improve his offensive efficiency and confidence. He also lost 15 pounds to thin himself out a little to be more mobile and agile in the paint.
Donald Sloan will be starting at point guard for the Pacers; with C.J. Watson and George Hill out. He led the Pacers in scoring during and preseason, and will likely get increased minutes off the bench this season at the 2 guard and possibly running the offense.
The Pacers will falter a little more this season without Paul George there to guard every teams star. They should hold their own though. ‘SmashMouth’ basketball will not disappear and will most likely be seen even more this year. Defense will be important against the 76ers, as they have a lot of 3 point shooters and young talent.
As for Philadelphia they will struggle without MCW. He is out with a shoulder injury and is at this point their best player. Tony Wroten will be the player to look out for; he has a plethora of scoring ability and triple-double capabilities.
This should be a fun game to watch with K.J. Daniels and Nerlens Noel making their debuts. The Pacers will face a scoring challenge of sorts; but in the end the veterans will prevail. Luis Scola will be starting and might possibly lead us in scoring. Should be a low scoring game, but a Pacers victory to start the year off.