Inside the Scope: Indiana Pacers (8-8) x Golden State Warriors (9-6)
- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Indiana Pacers Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 95.6 (28th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 96.2 (best in NBA)
- Points: David West, 17.4 PPG
- Rebounds: David West, 8.3 RPG
- Assists: George Hill, 5.4 APG
- Steals: Paul George, 1.3 SPG
- Blocks: Roy Hibbert, 3.0 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: David West, 48.3% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Lance Stephenson, 38.9% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: 8 points, 9 seconds.
Preview: The Indiana Pacers are coming off a victory in Sacramento last night and will be trying to win three games in a row for the first time this season. It will be a difficult task, especially on the road at Oracle Arena tonight.
With Danny Granger injured, Frank Vogel runs a post centric offense that relies on the talents of David West and Roy Hibbert, both of which are very capable scorers. Mind you, teams with post up options are typically good if not great offenses because they tend to get high percentage shots.
The Pacers are near the bottom of the league in offensive efficiency, which may seem perplexing at first. Indiana has two major problems that prevent them from being a good offense.
The first issue is that they lack great perimeter playmakers. Vogel’s crew is extremely dependent of their interior big men because the players on the outside struggle to create off the dribble, and in addition they aren’t exactly players that convert a high percentage of their shots. Indeed, as a team Indiana is shooting 41.1 percent from the field this year (28th in the NBA).
The second problem for the Pacers is their inability to hit shots from long-range as evidenced by their 32.8 percent shooting from downtown. Consequently, teams can just sag into the paint to bother Hibbert and West without any fear of consistently getting beat from deep.
On the other side of the ball, Indiana’s offense helps out their defense.
Indeed, the Pacers are a methodical offense that runs their plays and remain patient, which allows players to anticipate when the ball is going up, get back in transition and limit teams to a mere 10 fast break points per game, the best figure in the league.
In the half court though, the Pacers like to challenge opponents and get up in their air space. However, some teams have the personnel to challenge such a stifling defense and get inside the paint where they can manufacture shots at the rim.
And yet, Vogel’s crew only yields 35.5 points in the paint game (second best in the Association). This is a product of the defenders being in tune with each other and closing off the paint, but part of the reason why teams fail to score on the interior against the Pacers is Roy Hibbert.
He does an excellent job of contesting shots by jumping straight and keeping his hands up vertically, which adds a degree of difficulty for opponents. NBA.com’s advanced stats tool corroborates the eye test and tells us that opponents convert 55.2 percent of their field goals in the restricted area when the Georgetown product is on the bench versus 50.6 percent when he is on the court.
Thus, in order to be successful tonight, the Golden State Warriors might look to pack the paint to make life miserable for the Pacers’ big people and they may in fact look to attack Hibbert in the pick-and-roll and with drives to the basket to tire him out and even possibly get him into foul trouble.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
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