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Open Game Thread #57: Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves

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Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves
22-34 18-35
February 20, 2009 - 8:00PM EST
Target Center
Radio: 1070AM WFNI TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
T.J. Ford PG Sebastian Telfair
Jarrett Jack SG Randy Foye
Stephen Graham SF Mike Miller
Troy Murphy PF Ryan Gomes
Roy Hibbert C Kevin Love

The Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves meet tonight with both teams missing their best player. Danny Granger is out at least 10 days for the Pacers while Al Jefferson is out for the season after tearing up a knee.

A little over two weeks ago, the TWolves beat the Pacers at the Fieldhouse despite the home team keeping Jefferson in check most of the night. The problem for the Pacers on that night was the Minny backcourt combo of Sebastian Telfair and Randy Foye along with the Pacers self-inflicted problems at both ends.

Check out the game day reading because there is plenty of info to digest. Along with Granger's injury, it appears Mike Dunleavy may be shutting it down for an extended period of time if not the season. Also, Larry Bird expressed frustration similar to what I heard from Jim O'Brien last night over the lack of any viable trades before yesterday's deadline. The good news to me is that there was no sugar coating the situation or talk of liking the current team and just trying to tweak it. They both gave the indication that plan on having a better team and that they need more talent to improve.

Also, Bird mentioned Josh McRoberts getting back in the mix just as JOB did on the radio. He's a big wild card in the current situation so it will be nice to see the team give the young players a chance to grow on the court. McRoberts has been battling illness this week so I don't know if he'll be available tonight.

Here are the Matchups. The Pacers will be without Mike Dunleavy and Jeff Foster tonight. The Bobcats appear to be at full strength, so with both teams on a back-to-back, Charlotte will have a depth advantage.

For a Minnesota perspective, check out Canis Hoopus and TWolves Blog.

Gameday Reading

  • Mike Wells reports on the trade deadline passing and the injury status of Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy.
  • Bob Kravitz assesses the Pacers lack of action before the trade deadline. I agree with him on all points, except for the "basket case" comment about Rush. Offensively? Maybe, but Rush has played pretty well defensively.
  • In his analysis of Orlando's trades, Chad Ford mentions that the Magic "passed on a deal for a better point guard: Jamaal Tinsley." Wonder who was involved in that deal?
  • Sid Hartman is not impressed with the trades Minnesota completed yesterday.

Leave your thoughts and observations in the comments.