Indiana Pacers (2-0) Host Cleveland Cavaliers (1-1)
UPDATE: George Hill OUT for tonight’s game, and C.J. Watson will get the start in his place.
PG George Hill (sore hip) is OUT tonight for the #Pacers. C.J. Watson will get the start. Donald Sloan moved up for backup
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) November 2, 2013
Can the Indiana Pacers move another game closer to the 10 game win bar that Lance Stephenson challenged the team to? It will take some hard play as tonight as a talented Cleveland Cavaliers team comes to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse to show they’re not intimated by this Pacers team. The Pacers have found a way to win their first two games in different capacities, but isn’t that the thing that’s said about winning teams? You find that way to win a game. Whether it’s down 16 points on the road to a young New Orleans Pelicans team or down at home in the season opener against the not so good Orlando Magic.
First task in tonight’s game is to slow down Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers. However goes this Cavs team will go, and I do wonder who gets the defensive call on him? I don’t know if George Hill is that guy that can slow down the other team’s opposing good point guard. Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets seems to have Hill’s number when playing, and I can only imagine if Irving gets going tonight. It might take Lance Stephenson sliding over to guard Irving, and maybe even Paul George might have to get that defensive call for a bit. If anything, Roy Hibbert will be there in the middle of the lane waiting for Irving if he wants to drive that way. But we all know how good Hibbert is there, so that might not be the best option. Ultimately, it might be just be an all out team effort in this game to defend what the Cavs will want to do.
Anderson Varejo and Tristan Thompson are the two big men that Roy Hibbert and David West will have to focus on as well. I still believe that the Pacers are the better team, and they’ll find some way to win this one. It might not be one of those easy wins you chalk up, but going to 3-0 for the second time in three years is right there. It’s going to take Paul George continuing his impressive start as he’s hit for 24 and 32 points in the first two games. If George can continue that, it would be quite the feat. I was only expecting George to be around that 17-20 point game average, so this type of production is even better. He’s struggled against the Cavaliers in the last three games of last season, so what better way to get away from that, and come out with a strong performance tonight? He’s really filled up the stat sheet with rebounds and assists as well as he’s trying to take his game to that next level. I would love to see a full stat sheet from George this evening.
Prediction wise, I’ll go out and say the Pacers win this one by 5 points. I would look for Paul George to be strong, and get in that 20 point range. Look for Roy Hibbert to be that anchor on the defensive side, and I’ll go with 4 blocks for the big man as he’s just been a stopper there. 3-0 for the Pacers after tonight’s game, and 7 more wins till those elusive ten game winning streaks for the team.