clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers

New, comments

The injury-riddled Indiana Pacers, hot off a surprising win in Dallas, visit San Antonio to take on the Spurs.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Indiana Pacers

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
November 26, 2014, 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

I'll be honest -- I've never seen more than a few minutes of Hoosiers, but from what I understand it's meant to be an inspirational story about a ragtag team of players, led by Royal Tenenbaum, overcoming seemingly-impossible odds to win a basketball championship. It also takes place in the state of Indiana, where tonight's opponents happen to hail from. (::Segue::)

Tonight's Hoosiers have had to face plenty of their own adversity to begin the season. The team that looked like a legitimate contender for the first half of last season might be absent every starter from last year, including space cadet Lance Stephenson, who left for Charlotte in free agency.

Most people will immediately recall Paul George's horrific Team USA injury -- the sight of which incited nearly as many post-viewing shrieks of terror as the Red Wedding -- but the malady bug has continued to run rampant all over the Indiana roster. David West and former Pop-favorite George Hill will both be out once again for tonight's contest, while Roy Hibbert is questionable with a sprained ankle. If he doesn't go, it'll be one-time Spur Ian Mahinmi filling in as the starting center. Aside from being a former Youtube superstar, Mahinmi's a big body who's able to make an impact on both sides of the floor.

Stepping up for Indiana has been a motley crew of NBA flotsam that head coach Frank Vogel has managed to make the most out of -- especially as of late, with them winning five of their last seven. Names like Donald Sloan and Chris Copeland have suddenly become fantasy basketball commodities, having to shoulder more responsibility than anyone would've imagined before PG-13 went down.

In their stunner against the Mavericks on Monday, it was still-anonymous Sloan who carried the Pacers to victory, with a 29-point outburst that had many in Dallas frustrated with their own effort and performance. Still, it's a win that Indiana can hang its hat on, given both its extreme circumstances and that the Mavs offense has been on pace for breaking a few statistical records.

The fact that Sloan leads the team in points per game at 13.4 should paint a picture of what Frank Vogel is working with this season. Detroit castaway Rodney Stuckey (who recently returned from a sprained wrist) and journeyman C.J. Miles are two players that can create their own shots on the wing, but the fact remains that there's no go-to player for this offense. It's a next-man-up approach for Vogel, who will have to see who has the hot hand and ride him if Indy hopes to pull off a second upset on their Texas tour.

As for the Spurs, I honestly can't say what type of starting lineup Pop will assemble tonight. My gut says at least one of Tony, Tim or Manu will sit, but he may hope to start strong and simply limit the Big Three's minutes. San Antonio's stellar defense is currently best in the league in opponent points-per-game, and even an incomplete roster should be able to contain an extremely limited Indiana attack.

The Spurs will also be welcoming Matt Bonner back into the mix after missing the last few games with illness. Apparently the Mamba was successfully quarantined and, after practicing yesterday, should be good to go.

The Pacers boast a top-five defense of their own, but haven't defended the three-point line particularly well. Letting Boris Diaw go to work against Luis Scola, whose lateral movement has never received much praise, should open up looks for Bonner, Danny Green and others.

Their win against Dallas proves that the Pacers aren't a team that should be taken lightly. That said, I don't expect the Spurs to do so. Sometimes talent just wins out, and I'm not sure how far down you'd have to go down the Spurs roster to find someone less skilled than the best player Indiana will send out tonight. This should be a relatively easy home W for San Antonio, especially if the long ball is falling early.

Matchup to watch: Ian Mahinmi versus Aron Baynes. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object? Tune in tonight to find out!

vs.

Indiana Pacers (6-8)

San Antonio Spurs (9-4)

November 26, 2014

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

7:30 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Donald Sloan

PG

Tony Parker

Rodney Stuckey

SG

Danny Green

Solomon Hill

SF

Kawhi Leonard

Luis Scola

PF

Boris Diaw

Ian Mahinmi

C

Tim Duncan


Game prediction: Spurs by 16

For the Pacers' perspective, visit Indy Cornrows.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com