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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Indiana Pacers

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After a sloppy win against the Kings, San Antonio looks to keep their 8-game winning streak going in Indiana tonight.

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Indiana Pacers

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Date: 3/7/16, Time: 6:00 PM Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

With three starters sitting the Spurs won a sloppy affair at home Saturday night to extend their winning streak to 8 overall. As ugly as that game was, the bright spot was Manu Ginobili who came back from injury and had 22 points in just 15 minutes. Talk about efficient! Without Manu I'm not sure the Spurs remain 30-0 at home for the season. The good news is the Spurs should get back at least a couple of the trio that sat out the Kings game tonight.

LaMarcus Aldridge, Danny Green and Tim Duncan all sat out Saturday's game. I'm assuming that all three will be available tonight for a game against a good, if not spectacular, Pacers team. Paul George has been playing well lately going off for 38-points in the Pacers win over the Wizards on Saturday. That gives him back to back games with 35+ points. The issue for George, and the Pacers as a whole, is inconsistency. Indiana is 5-5 in their last ten and it's not a terribly impressive schedule. They beat the Thunder, but lost twice to the Hornets. George has had games ranging from 11 ppg to 38 ppg in that stretch.

Of course the Pacers have the talent to win any night against any team.  They just picked up Ty Lawson after Houston released him. That will help their depth, assuming Lawson can find his game that apparently he lost playing for the Rockets (or maybe it was in the slammer that he lost it). Indiana appears to have a good scoring punch with Monta Ellis, Paul George, George Hill and rookie Myles Turner, former Texas Longhorn, who just won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month and a solid looking bench

One has to wonder why the Pacers aren't better. They sit 7th in East and only three games above .500. As it turns out, Indiana is struggling on the offensive side of the ball.  They are good enough on defense to have the 3rd overall defensive rating, thanks in large part to former Spurs Ian Mahinmi. However, Indiana is only 23rd in offensive rating according to basketball-reference.com. Ellis has been disappointing for the Pacers having the lowest offensive rating and points per game average since his rookie season. Indiana was likely counting on Ellis to help the offense pack more of a punch, because they certainly didn't plan on him being a defensive stopper. It looks like the Pacers are missing the scoring prowess of one David West.

Of course Ellis, Hill and certainly George are capable of going off at any time. With the addition of Lawson and the emergence of Turner, who some how has only played in 41 games, the Pacers are not to be taken lightly. After the night off due to a migraine, LeMarcus Aldridge should be able to take advantage of his matchup with Turner or Mahinmi. The real matchup everyone will be watching is Leonard and George.

Matchup to Watch: This one is pretty easy, the best players for both teams play at the Small Forward position. George and Leonard will be always be connected in my mind. For one thing they were both defense first guys coming out of college who have improved their games to be very all-star all-around players. Of course theirs the other connection that they almost ended up teammates if not for the Spurs trading George Hill. Leonard has obviously had more team success than has George, but it seems like Leonard is just now getting the type of acclaim individually that George has enjoyed for a few years. Both guys are playing well and this should be a fun matchup to watch.

San Antonio Spurs (53-9)

Indiana Pacers (33-30)

March 7, 2016

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

6:00 PM CST

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

George Hill

Danny Green

SG

Monte Ellis

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Paul George

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Myles Turner

Tim Duncan

C

Ian Mahinmi

Game prediction: Spurs by 12.

For the Pacers fans' perspective, visit Indy Cornrows.

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.