The Golden State Warriors are coming off a disappointing late-game collapse against the Toronto Raptors, and the opposition is not going to get any easier. On Tuesday, the Indiana Pacers will host Stephen Curry and the Dubs, and the Eastern Conference powerhouse has only lost at home three times this season.
Frontcourt: The Pacers have one of the most physically intimidating frontcourts in the league, as David West and Roy Hibbert are a handful to deal with down low. When West is on, he can be an efficient scoring machine, even though he isn’t at the top of the team’s food chain on offense. Hibbert’s size is extremely difficult to deal with, and although his offense comes and goes his defensive presence has many handing him the Defensive Player of the Year award already. Paul George has obviously developed into a superstar and is the team’s primary weapon.
Backcourt: George Hill should be returning to the Pacers’ lineup after a shoulder injury. He has been the perfect fit at the point guard position for this team and picks his spots very well. Lance Stephenson was one of the All-Star snubs in the East and he has come a long way since being on the end of the bench a couple of years ago. He is still a little erratic and makes mistakes every now and again, but he is extremely entertaining to watch and can put up huge numbers on any given night.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
Curry needs help
It was very hard to watch the Warriors struggle towards the end of the game against Toronto. Curry gave the team a chance to win the game, but he had practically no help. David Lee was on fire in the first quarter, but cooled off. Klay Thompson shot 4-for-15 from the field. Harrison Barnes put up 11 points, but the rest of the bench was terrible. Curry dropped 34 points to make up for all of it, but he needs help.
Golden State had 13 turnovers against the Raptors, which isn’t that terrible. The issue was instead the timing of those turnovers. The Warriors were within striking distance down the stretch but just committed sloppy turnovers over and over and didn’t even give themselves a chance to put up a shot when it mattered the most. The Pacers’ defense can suffocate just about any offense in the league, and the Warriors strugged mightily against the Chicago Bulls’ elite defense as well. In games like this, focusing on taking care of the ball is more important than ever.
Indiana Pacers (46-13) vs. Golden State Warriors (36-24)
4:00 PM PST, March 4, 2014
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Pacers Projected Starting Line-up
PG: George Hill
SG: Lance Stephenson
SF: Paul George
PF: David West
C: Roy Hibbert
Key Reserves: F Luis Scola. F Evan Turner