Tip Off: 7:30 PM (PST)

Projected Starters

Indiana                                                                         Golden State

PG – Darren Collison                                                Charles Jenkins

SG –  Paul George                                                       Monta Ellis

SF –  Danny Granger                                                 Dorell Wright

PF – David West                                                        David Lee

C –    Roy Hibbert                                                       Andris Biedrins

Scope the opposition: Get your Pacers fix at 8 points 9 seconds.

Preview: After splitting their four games on an eastern road trip, the Golden State Warriors (5-9) will be hosting the Indiana Pacers (9-4) who started out their three-game California road trip with a loss at the hands of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

The Pacers are an average offensive team at best as evidenced by their 98.3 offensive efficiency rating (21st in the NBA) and 41.5 percent field goal percentage. And to be perfectly honest, those figures are quite surprising at first glance given the talent on the roster.

Indiana likes to initiate their offense based on the play of Roy Hibbert and David West. Whether it’s in the secondary fast break or by running plays, the Pacers try to get the ball inside to their big men for easy scoring opportunities. It’s not always about them scoring mind you, sometimes the player throwing the ball into the post will get an easy score simply by cutting to the basket and receiving a pass from either Hibbert or West.

Also, Indiana likes to run misdirection plays (much like the Lakers do now under Mike Brown for Kobe Bryant) to get the ball to their wing scorer with a chance to do some damage.

For instance, Granger might go across the lane to make a cross screen for Hibbert and then get a screen from West where he flashes to the top of the key for a wide open look. In the event that his defender recovers in time to close the gap, Granger still has the opportunity to drive past his man or if the defense cheated a little and sent West’s man towards Granger; it results in a David West open jump shot.

The offense takes a slight change when both the Pacers’ starting power forward and center go to the bench. Indeed, it revolves more around the talents of Granger as Frank Vogel puts his leading scorer on the block for post up opportunities where few can truly guard him.

And yet, for all of their execution on offense as well as scorers on the team, the Pacers struggle to score the ball. Why? Because they cannot shoot with any type of consistency.

Consider this: the Pacers attempt 25.7 shots at the rim per game (10th in the NBA) but are only capable of converting 54.9 percent of those shots (dead last in the league) according to Hoopdata. In addition, their field goal percentage from 16-to-23 feet is an abysmal 29.3 percent (last in the association), which obviously does not bode well for a jump shooting team.

An argument could be made that save for Roy Hibbert, the Pacers have the wrong players taking the bulk of the shots. Have a look below:



FGA per game


Danny Granger




Roy Hibbert




Darren Collison




Tyler Hansbrough




Paul George




David West




George Hill





Granted, Danny Granger has proven over his career that he is a good scorer and shooter, thus he may get back to his usual shooting numbers; but until that happens, the Pacers will continue to struggle on offense, especially with the other players on the roster failing to shoot a high percentage.

On defense, the Indiana Pacers are one of the best in the league. They sport an impressive 94.4 defensive efficiency rating (third in he league) and only allow opponents to shoot 40.5 percent from the field (tops in the NBA).

A huge part of what makes the Pacers good on the defense is the starting frontline. Although the perimeter players do a good job of not getting exposed off the dribble, the Pacers starting big men make it extremely difficult for teams to score.

To be fair, Hibbert and West are not the best athletes, consequently they are often times just half of a second late on their rotations, which explains why teams are able to manufacture 26.6 shots at the rim against them (sixth most in the association). However, the size of both the players makes it extremely tough for players to score over them. As a result, Pacers opponents only convert 58.6 percent of their shots at the rim (fourth best mark in the NBA).

The dynamic is different when the starters go the bench and Frank Vogel goes to Tyler Hansbrough and Louis Amundson. Both are highly energetic players that make their rotations, deflect passes and clog the lane as best they can. Mind you, for all of the energy they bring to the table, they do not offer the same resistance in the paint given their size and also do not deter many opponents from finishing around the basket since they do not provide the same intimidation or height as Hibbert and West.

Monta Ellis will have a tough task tonight when trying to score against Paul George and the same will be true for David Lee who should have an easy time getting around David West but will find Roy Hibbert waiting for him at the basket.

The Warriors bench will play a huge part in deciding the winner of this game and one has to wonder if Dorell Wright will be up to task of trying to score on Danny Granger to progressively wear him down in the contest.

Indiana game notes: The Pacers do not have a truly dominant rebounder, however they do a terrific job of collectively hitting the boards for second chance opportunities at every position.

Golden State game notes: After struggling to score on most of the eastern road trip, Monta Ellis closed out the trip with 30 points, five assists and six steals on 11-for-20 shooting against New Jersey.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected]

One Response

  1. Andrew

    Let’s go Warrior’s! Let’s get a win against the Pacers! Go “Jackson’s 5 and the Pips”!