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Open Game Thread #4: Pacers vs. Clippers

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Finally, another game day is here. The Indiana Pacers host the Los Angeles Clippers tonight at the Fieldhouse. Tonight's game is the middle game of a three game roadie for the Clips. Last night they had a hard fought 97-91 win over the Chicago Bulls to move their record to 3-0.

The Pacers will try to remain unbeaten and notch a win against a team that has actually won this year. Despite the success, the Ws have been far from flawless. Jim O'Brien gave us a little reality check today in Bruno's Game Preview. In essence, O'B says the wins are great, but there's plenty of room for improvement.

"There are a number of areas that we are deficient in right now," O'Brien said. "We are not a very good defensive rebounding team. We're giving the other team too many opportunities. We are fouling way too much. We're turning the basketball over too many times. We're allowing the basketball to be driven at the rim too many times.

"From a record standpoint, I'm very happy. The object is to win, we've played three games and have three Ws. But in order to be a team that is constantly improving there are areas we have to clean up."
We also learned about a couple of minor (knock, knock) injuries that may delay the decision on which player will be inactive if the roster is fully healthy. Mike Dunleavy sprained his ankle on Monday and joins Jermaine O'Neal and Troy Murphy as game-time decisions, which is an upgrade for Murph. Ike Diogu strained a calf which appears to be a bit more serious. He is listed as questionable.

Projected Starters
PACERS pos. CLIPPERS
Jermaine O'Neal F Tim Thomas
Danny Granger F Corey Maggette
Jeff Foster C Chris Kaman
Mike Dunleavy G Cutino Mobley
Jamaal Tinsley G Brevin Knight

Big ups to the Clippers for knocking off a Central Division foe last night in impressive fashion. The Clips were down in the fourth quarter, but seized the game over the final three minutes, similar to the Pacers' win over Miami. The Pacers will need all of their game-time decision players to suit up if they plan to hand the Clips their first loss. Should be a great game -- the battle of the unbeatens that no one expected.

One more thing...
Mark Montieth has a nice article on Mike Dunleavy, Sr. and Jr. as they prepare to face each other tonight. Sounds like they're both happy Junior is with the Pacers and Jim O'Brien.

UPDATE: Bummer, Ike won't be available tonight. He is out four to six weeks with a muscle tear in his calf.

Leave all of your thoughts about this matchup before, during, and after the game in the comments.