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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers

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After a cold shooting performance in the Great White North, the Rodeo Road Show continues. Next up: the Indiana Pacers.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Indiana Pacers

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
February 9, 2015, 6:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Coach Pop always includes the element of good fortune as playing a big part in a championship team's success. Of course he's not so delusional to say that it's all that matters, but he recognizes the legitimate effect that factors such as health play in the golden road to the Promised Land. These Pacers may not have had what it takes to contend again this year, but it's safe to say that any hope for a return to the Conference Finals disappeared with Paul George's lamentable injury this summer.

That, compounded with the playmaking void left behind by Lance Stephenson and George Hill's early-season injury, has led to a big step backward for one of last season's better teams.

But at 19-32, the Pacers are still just a mini streak away from snatching that eighth spot. And if Paul George returns (as has been reported as a possibility), then the Eastern Conference picture gets a little bit more interesting -- especially if the Pacers and Hawks meet again in the first round, albeit with a reversal of seeding.

The Pacers recently snapped Cleveland's 12-game win streak, thanks in large part to a ridiculous shot by George Hill that required, well, a bit of luck as well:

After missing the first few months of the season with a groin injury, Hill has slowly become one of the most important players for Indiana, winner of four of its last six after dropping seven in a row. Besides the 20 points, 7 assists and huge four-point-play down the stretch against the Cavs, he dropped another 20 in a win against Detroit last Wednesday. For a team with two plodding big men, strong perimeter play from guys like Hill is crucial to the team's success.

Playing alongside Hill is journeyman C.J. Miles, who's been in the league a while now and always shown an ability to create his own offense. They're not the scariest backcourt in the league, but they've helped keep Indiana afloat in the playoff picture.

While Indiana plays solid defense -- thanks in large part to a conservative pace, good rebounding, and the presence of Big Roy underneath the hoop -- San Antonio should be leaving with Pop's 1000th win in the books. The Pacers simply don't have the firepower or depth to match, and I think the Spurs will quickly leave last night's abysmal shooting display behind them.

Matchup to watch: C.J. Miles vs. Kawhi Leonard. Miles is one of the few offensive weapons for one of the NBA's weakest attacks. If Kawhi can keep him under wraps, the Pacers' chances shrink considerably. I think Kawhi wins this matchup and leaves a big imprint on the game.

vs.

Indiana Pacers (19-32)

San Antonio Spurs (32-19)

February 9, 2015

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

6:00 PM CDT

TV: FSSW

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

George Hill

PG

Tony Parker

C.J. Miles

SG

Danny Green

Solomon Hill

SF

Kawhi Leonard

David West

PF

Boris Diaw

Roy Hibbert

C

Tim Duncan


For the Pacers perspective, please visit Indy Cornrows.

Game prediction: Spurs by 5.

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