Indiana Pacers Preview: Welcoming the Mavericks


The Indiana Pacers are at home again this evening in the middle of a three-game stretch at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Dallas Mavericks.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (14-9) v. Dallas Mavericks (14-11)
WHEN: Tonight, 7 pm ET / 6 pm CT
WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)

RADIO: 1070 the Fan

The Pacers
Following an important home win over the Toronto Raptors, the Indiana Pacers welcome the Dallas Mavericks out of the western conference for this midweek clash.

The biggest story ahead of tonight’s game is involving Paul George. George is suffering from an upper respiratory infection, and though he is experiencing some chest pain, he believes he will be available tonight for the Blue & Gold.

Ceasing to produce his usual numbers since being crowned Eastern Conference Player of the Month, George has been a little cold recently, his 16 points on 5/13 shooting against the Raptors a perfect example. It could be part of the reason Indiana is struggling to keep up consistency in the win column, but players like Monta Ellis and C.J. Miles have been around to pick up where George left off.

The Pacers are 1-1 since ending their three-game skid with a win over Miami and have tonight’s home game in Dallas and a game on Friday against Brooklyn before hitting the road again.

The Mavericks
Besides another opportunity to see Dirk Nowitzki, tonight will be about forcing turnovers against one of the better ball-handling teams in the league. Former Pacers head coach and now Mavs HC Rick Carlisle heads up a team averaging the third-fewest turnovers per game while sitting middle-of-the-pack offensively.

One area the Blue & Gold won’t have much to worry about with is the three-point shot. Deron Williams, Dirk, and Wesley Matthews are really the only ones who take long-range shots consistently, but none of the three average out as a consistent threat despite their attempts.

If there’s one area Indiana should clamp down on, it’s limiting the Mavs’ attempts at the free-throw line. Dallas is 7th in the league in FT% at 78.7% while sitting in the top half in attempts. Somewhat ironically, the Pacers are in the top five in attempts but sit just inside the lower half in percentage made (75.6%).

If Paul George was 100% going into tonight, Indiana had a good shot at taking down the visitors. But, George won’t be 100% tonight, and even if he was it still wouldn’t be a guaranteed win. No game is (except you, Philly).

However, look for the Pacers to perhaps try and take a load off of George going into tonight and see if Monta Ellis has the same revenge streak against former teams that Rodney Stuckey does.

Tipoff for tonight set for 7 pm ET.