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Game #23: Bobcats @ Pacers 3-on-3 Preview

Who: Indiana Pacers vs Charlotte Bobcats

What: NBA Basketball – Pacers Home Game

When: 7:00 PM ET

Where: Live at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

The Matchup:

Record Offensive
Indiana 19-3 101.5 (14) 92.5 (1) 96.0 (22)
Charlotte 10-12 94.4 (29) 97.3 (4) 95.4 (24)

Previous Meetings:
Uh, yeah, it wasn’t close. Pacers 99-74.

Indiana: Danny Granger (OUT)
Charlotte: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (OUT)

Starting Lineups

Pacers Bobcats
PG George Hill Kemba Walker
SG Lance Stephenson Gerald Henderson
SF Paul George Jeffery Taylor
PF David West Josh McRoberts
C Roy Hibbert Al Jefferson
6th Man Luis Scola Ramon Sessions

3-on-3 TrueHoop Network 1- STATS. Both squads are top-5 in defensive efficiency, so like the first meeting between these two, it should be a slugfest. On Nov. 27th the Bobcats turned the ball over 15 times that led to 14 points for Indiana + got out-rebounded 57-43. Oh, and C.J. Watson went 6-7 from behind the arc. What’s the key statistical category tonight?

Spencer: Indiana isn’t off-the-charts good in PnR situations offensively – when the ball handler in a PnR sequence takes the shot, the team is 37% + that ranks 22nd in the league — when the roll man ends up taking the shot, Indiana shoots 52.6%, good for 16th in the NBA (Per MySnergySports.com). This being said, it may not be a bad idea for Charlotte to extend their defense, get into the passing lanes and force offensive action to come to the basketball – hence, PnR’s.

Greg: The Bobcats will need to make this as ugly as possible, but there unfortunately aren’t many areas where they have a distinct edge. One thing they can key in on defensively is corner threes; the Pacers shoot the fifth-highest percentage on those attempts. The Pacers can also be a bit turnover-prone, ranking 21st in TOV%, so pressuring their ballhandlers will help.

Dakota: I think the aforementioned categories are going to be extremely crucial if Charlotte wants to even think about taking the victory. While a victory might be too much to ask for as the Bobcats will face off against the best team in the Eastern Conference, being competitive in the turnover and rebounding categories would be a huge step for the team.

2- KEMBA & HENDO. Quite possibly the most bi-polar back-court in all of basketball. Wednesday night against Orlando, the duo went a combined 7-32 from the floor. In the first meeting with Indiana this season they were a combined 6-32. They’ve got to be above average tonight for Charlotte to have a chance, right?

Spencer: As we saw in the Golden State win this week, when Kemba and Hendo get off the team can compete with anyone and get into a shootout. No, I don’t think that game is a model of success that can be consistent for Charlotte, but it does show us how this team maximizes it’s offensive potential within the context of a game. So, yes, I do believe they both need to have big games tonight in order for the Bobcats to have a chance.

Greg: It wouldn’t hurt, but of their three top scorers, Jefferson’s performance seems the most important in their wins and losses. Jefferson’s averaging 17.8 points in victories vs. 13.4 in their defeats, while Walker and Henderson’s margins are much smaller. A big scoring night from Al probably isn’t in the cards, though, as Indiana gives up the lowest FG% in the restricted area and the fifth-lowest in the paint.

Dakota: Of course. With DPOY candidate Roy Hibbert guarding Al Jefferson, the duo of Kemba and Henderson need to be more than above average if Charlotte wants to compete with Indiana.

3- PICK IT. Everyone got Indiana?

Spencer: Yup. It comes down to the fact that the Pacers are just too good in too many categories – they’re going to wear you down eventually. To me, this defense is winning them all these games early in the season and have them sporting the best record in the NBA. Depth + defense is a phenomenal formula for success in the regular season, and especially in the playoffs – this team has both.

Greg: Yes. The Pacers are steamrolling everyone at the moment, and Charlotte looked flat and bored against Orlando. I’m hoping for at least a close game, but expecting the worst.

Dakota: Absolutely. While Charlotte continues to improve as an overall team, Indiana is too much of a force for the Bobcats to even handle.