Indiana Pacers face quick turnaround v. Milwaukee


After a tough loss in Chicago last night, the Indiana Pacers host the Milwaukee Bucks in a New Years Eve showdown to cap off a difficult week of games.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (18-13) v. Milwaukee Bucks (12-21)
WHEN: Tonight, 6 pm ET / 5 pm CT
WHERE: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)

RADIO: 1070 the Fan

The Pacers
The Bulls got the better of the Indiana Pacers again last night, and again it was Jimmy Butler involved at the death, his tip-in ensuring Chicago a 102-100 win. However, the tide keeps rolling for Indiana as they travel home to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on a New Years Eve showdown early enough to start the party off right.

Indiana is slowly dripping away their points per game tally but is still among the best distance-shooting teams in the league, though not helped by last night’s 7/22 from beyond the arc. The Pacers are still taking the ball away at an incredible rate but have not been able to capitalize on points off turnovers when it matters the most. That will have to change.

Last night, Paul George looked more like his usual self as some of the shots that hadn’t been falling actually started to. George finished the night with 19 points on 7/20 shooting. The other George (Hill) led the way for the Pacers with 20 points on 8/15 shooting.

Without C.J. Miles or Jordan Hill, it was going to be difficult to waltz out of Chicago with another win over the central division foes, but if Pacers fans can hang their heads on one thing – it is the brief return of Myles Turner. Turner, who has missed over a month with a hand injury, played limited minutes last night but showed why fans of the Blue & Gold can’t wait for his full recovery. He finished with 8 points and 5 boards on 2/8 shooting.

Tonight, Miles and Hill may feature again, as may Turner, but facing another central div. opponent it’s important to grab the W before facing Detroit on Saturday night.

The Bucks
One of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA, Milwaukee enters tonight averaging just over 97 points per game, but on 45.6% shooting, the seventh-best average.

Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo typically lead the way for the Bucks with Greg Monroe not too far behind, but it’s the scoring defense that remains an issue for a team currently sitting 12th in the Eastern Conf. standings.

Milwaukee’s emphasis will be exactly what you think – shoot the ball well while limiting the Pacers to quality opportunities. Sounds easy, right?

We’ll find out tonight as the Pacers host the Bucks, tipoff set for 6 pm ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.