San Antonio Spurs @ Indiana PacersBankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
November 23, 2012, 7:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW, FSI - RADIO: 1200 WOAI, 1070
The San Antonio Spurs travel to Indianapolis to take on fellow former ABA member, the Indiana Pacers. Game time is a 7pm and tip off is in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Both teams are battling the injury bug. Pacers are without Danny Granger and the Spurs are without starting Small Forward Kawhi Leonard and back up Nasty Small Forward Stephen Jackson.
San Antonio has been the quintessential small market team in the NBA. Indiana looks to emulate the Spurs in their ongoing campaign to relive their former glory in the ABA days. The Pacers won 3 ABA Championships in 4 years. They appeared in 5 Finals in 9 years. Dominate was associated with the Pacers in the ABA. This domination did not translate to success in the NBA. Due to the financial cost of joining the NBA and its extremely small market, the Pacers were broke in the beginning of their NBA tenure. In fact, they were going to be sold and leave Indiana after their first season in the NBA. It took a 16 hour telethon in getting support from local fans to keep the team in Indianapolis.
Fast forward to the present. Indiana is coming off an emotional win against the New Orleans Hornets. Paul George broke Reggie Miller's team record of 3 pointers made; he made 9. Roy Hibbert set a team record with 11 blocked shots. Congratulations to those two players. On a side note: It's not a good sign when you have to set two different franchise records to beat a Hornet's team without their best player, Anthony Davis. Good sign or no, the Pacers seek to push their win streak to 3 and give themselves some breathing room from a stunted Chicago Bulls.
The Silver and Black will take to the hardwood to give those same Pacers a run for their money. With strange rumblings happening in Spurs land, the players meanwhile continue to Pound the Rock. Monday morning Point Guards, wanna-be analysts, real analysts, quasi-real analysts, the guy on the street and all the rest of us Pounders have many questions so far this season. Some are being answered while others have to wait to be played out. Is Tony on a downward curve from his great height last season? Will the GOATPUFF lead all season long? Have the prayers of the Manu-ites been fully answered? How long has Pop been pushing a home brew and a dog&pony show? Is Patty Mills really that fast? Can Tiago keep playing at such an amazing level? Are the Spurs Championship material?
Tonight's game will continue to give Pounders more information about their beloved team and whether or not we can expect great things for the Spurs this season. Tiago's monster game against Boston would be twice as impressive against the league's number one team in defensive efficiency. The Pacers are possess a solid interior defense. They rank in the top five of shots made at rim defensively. Their interior defense continues into the paint but soften a bit here as they only rank in the middle of the league so far. It would be great if Tiago is able to sparkle inside Indiana's interior defense. The Spurs on the other side have an issue with interior defense. While their at the rim defense is top 3 in the league, their 3-9 foot defense in the paint ranks last in the league.
Tony can only do better, as his last game against this team showed poor shooting, going 3-13. His 7 dimes was a nice addition and if he can improve his shooting and drop in another 7 assists, this should relieve some pressure from Old Man River Walk.
Speaking of the Wizard, according to stat magician John Hollinger, his Player Efficiency Rating has Tim Duncan as the 3rd most efficient player in the league. He is also the only Spur in the top 50. Talk about carrying a team!
From wizards to Folk Heroes with cult followings, Manu continues his roller coaster of season. A full recovery was believed to be in effect by the faithful but Wednesday's game against the Celtics left a lot to be desired. He shot poorly going 2-8 and earning 5 points with 0 free throws. He did have 4 assists but so did Tim Duncan. His defense was porous at best and he was continually getting beat by his man forcing the defense to take up the slack. With that being said, Manu is, well, Manu and some how garnered a +24 out of the mess. While his stat sheet cries en la recuperación, Manu's +24 is looking pretty good.
The Spurs will have some work to do in Indianapolis. Especially if rumors are true about Paul George. Beginning short handed against a relatively good defense is not always the best place to start but the Silver and Black have known worse. Expect them to tangle with the Pacers and keep it close until the 3rd. Pop will make the necessary tweeks and the Spurs should continue their winning ways in the Eastern Conference.
Pacers perspective can be found here: Indy Cornrows
Game Prediction: The Spurs handed the Pacers the worst loss of their season. Pacers may return the favor but fall short, Spurs by 6. Vegas says Spurs by 4.
Shout out to my boy Aesop Rock for helping me write this.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate.