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Open Game Thread #38: Pacers at Kings

The Indiana Pacers are in Sacramento tonight to take on the Kings. It appears that Jamaal Tinsley and Jermaine O'Neal should be available. Kareem Rush might not be. That could hamper O'B's efforts to push a small ball lineup.

The Pacers may really miss Rush tonight since the Kings are set to welcome back Kevin Martin. Plus, John Salmons has been playing out of his mind this year. He already has a pair of LoNny nods and could've had another earlier this week. I have to say I flinched when I saw Martin was set to return after enduring an outburst from him last year at the Fieldhouse. Hopefully Rush is available to matchup with Martin.

Here's Bruno's Scouting Report which takes a look at the incredible negative free throw differential for the Pacers. The team has not outscored an opponent from the line in the past 20 games. Most of those 20 haven't even been close either.

O'B doesn't seem concerned, explaining part of the difference is due to the types of players on the roster and the system in place.

"A lot depends on the personnel and the strength of the personnel," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "For instance, we use Troy (Murphy) as a perimeter guy. Some teams might use the power forward as an inside guy. It's really the style of the individuals. What are their strengths? I think that is what's more of a factor.

"If it was a situation where we weren't attacking the paint and you'd say, 'Geez coach, maybe one of the reasons why you're shooting foul shots is you're not scoring in the paint,' well, that's not the case. We are scoring in the paint, certainly in the top half of the league. It's more of a style, going from one individual to another. We just are not necessarily guys that are going to bang it to the point where they get to the foul line a lot."
I can buy that to a certain extent, but there's also been plenty of defensive breakdowns that have lead to fouls in an attempt to recover.

Here's what the efficiency numbers say:
Team Pace Off.Eff. Def.Eff.
IND 96.9(2nd) 105.3(18th) 107.1(14th)
SAC 92.1(11th) 105.9(16th) 109.0(24th)

Projected Starters
Jermaine O'Neal F Mikki Moore
Danny Granger F Francisco Garcia
Troy Murphy C Brad Miller
Mike Dunleavy G John Salmons
Jamaal Tinsley G Beno Udrih

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game in the comments.