As the Spurs continue to lock down the 2nd spot in the Western Conference they host a familiar face tonight as our boy George Hill comes back to San Antonio bringing his Pacers with him. The Spurs will look to continue their 6 game winning streak after getting a couple of days of rest. The Pacers have been playing fairly well this year and they boast a very athletic group that could give the Spurs some problems.
When getting ready for this preview, I was excited to see how Hill how's been doing with his home town team. I figured that he has been a big part of their decent year. To my surprise he's only playing 23 minutes a game and has only played in 35 games. I don't know if he got injured or what, but his points per game are down as are most all of his stats from the last two years he was in South Texas.
Of course a big part of it are the players that the Pacers have. They have, one time Spurs draft hopeful, Paul George who is having a very solid year. They also have Darren Collison at the point and Danny Granger who has been an all-star the last couple of years. Indiana George is clearly part of the second unit for the Pacers. In my humble opinion, it looks like the Spurs trade of Hill to the Pacers for Leonard and Lorbek is clearly a win for the Spurs at this point.
As far as the Pacers season, it looks pretty up and down. They started off very well going 14-6 in December and January. Then they stumbled a bit and things got crazy. Starting in Mid-February they lost 5 straight, then won six in a row, then proceeded to lose 4 more games in succession. They are 6-4 in their last ten games having recovered somewhat from a rough February and March.
Meanwhile, San Antonio is rolling. They got thru their 6 games in 8 nights with a perfect record and are now looking to extend this run of form. The schedule in April is brutal for the Spurs. In the last month of the season they will have 5 back to backs and that doesn't count the triple lindy. There are only 3 games in the month of April where the Spurs will have the day before and after off. This may be the conspiracy theorist in me, but it sure seems like the NBA is trying to wear out our beloved silver and black. In reality, lots of teams have bad schedules. I don't ever remember a year, in any sport, that has a worse schedule that this year in the NBA.
Who could forget our old friend Wayne Vore's Halloween Costume in honor of Hill?
This game should be interesting. The Pacers are top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating, albeit barely on both counts. They do not have a great offense, but they rebound well and play pretty good defense. Roy Hebertt has start to become a pretty solid big man and will probably cause the Spurs some issues inside. Granger will be a tough match up for the likes of Leonard and Jackson. Indiana will probably have a hard time with the dribble penetration, but they do have a legit big man to clog the lane.
The Spurs should be able to out execute the Pacers and will just have to be patient of defense. Tonight we will see two of the all time college "hustle" guys in Tyler Hansbrough and DeJuan Blair. Hansbrough probably has a better all around game, but he does have his ACL's, so it's probably a wash. I will say that Tyler's got the best crazy eyes out side of Kurt Thomas in the NBA.
Song of the day:
Lineups as I guess them to be:
Game Prediction: I think the Spurs will win this one in a close game. Of course the Pacers did trade for Leandro Barbosa, the notorious Spurs killer. Spurs by 6.
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.