Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Pacers visit Portland on Wednesday night to take on the Trail Blazers in the second of four road games against Western Conference competition.
|2012-13 NBA Regular Season|
|January 23, 2013 - 10:00 p.m. ET|
|The Rose Garden - Portland, OR|
|TV: Fox Sports Indiana ---- Radio: AM 1070 The Fan|
|George Hill||PG||Damian Lillard|
|Lance Stephenson||SG||Wesley Matthews|
|Paul George||SF||Nicolas Batum|
|David West||PF||LaMarcus Aldridge|
|Roy Hibbert||C||J.J. Hickson|
The Pacers used a monster third quarter, outscoring the Blazers 31-14 after the half, to take control of their early December matchup in Indy. The Blazers rallied in the fourth but the Pacers hung on for a 99-92 win at the Fieldhouse.
This is when Paul George started trending as a beast, following up his 34-point game in Chicago with a solid 22 points and eight rebounds. Blazers wing Nicolas Batum also came down with PG disease, scoring just five points as a non-factor for Portland.
The key for the Pacers will be to keep Batum and Damian Lillard (who was fantastic in the last meeting, btw) under control while winning the front court battle. LaMarcus Aldridge presents plenty of problems but as a whole, the Blazers front court doesn't intimidate anyone and the Pacers need to take advantage around the bucket.
As a tasty subplot, keep an eye on Portland's rookie Meyers Leonard and Tyler Hansbrough. Leonard returned to action in Porltand's last game against Washington after missing 11 games with a bad ankle sprain. During the last game, Hansbrough took residence under Leonard's skin, as he is wont to do, and the big fella out of Illinois struggled to hide his exasperation while Hansbrough ended up with 10 points. Personally, I'm looking forward to the pair reacquainting tonight.
For more on the Blazers, check out Blazers Edge. Also, leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.