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Game Thread #1: Indiana Pacers at San Antonio Spurs

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October 27, 2010 - 8:30PM EST
AT&T Center
Radio: 93.1FM WIBC TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Probable starters:
Darren Collison PG Tony Parker
Mike Dunleavy SG Manu Ginobili
Danny Granger SF Richard Jefferson
Josh McRoberts PF Tim Duncan
Roy Hibbert C DeJuan Blair

Opening night is finally here and the Indiana Pacers get the season started at the San Antonio Spurs tonight. Have to admit, having to play at San Antonio is a bit of a buzz kill for opening night, but we will not let that diminish the excitement around here for the commencement of a fresh 82 games for the blue and gold.

Besides, maybe the Spurs will begin the season pacing themselves for the long haul. Considering they still rely on aging stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili they surely don't want to burn out the two stars too early.

The Pacers' emphasis on rebounding will be tested right out of the gate with Duncan and glass-eater, DeJuan Blair starting up front for the Spurs. This matchup may be favorable for Roy Hibbert at the offensive end but he and Josh McRoberts will need to find a way to hang at both ends of the floor.

Also looking forward to seeing Darren Collison take on Tony Parker. Parker should be pumped to bounce back from a tough year last season as he continues playing in his prime years. Hopefully, Collison can let it all hang out and play without thinking too much about what he's supposed to be doing offensively in the half court. Broad Ripple's George Hill will also present a challenge coming off the bench for the Spurs.

But any hopes for a win tonight rest with Danny Granger. Not only does he have to win his matchup with Richard Jefferson, but he needs to pitch in on the glass and set an aggressive, competitive tone for his team. Granger was showing solid signs of improvement with regard to defense and rebounding in the preseason, just before he tweaked his ankle and missed the remaining games. I also haven't heard a lot from Granger in the preseason, other than canned comments on improving defense, taking care of the ball, yada, yada, yada. I get the feeling he's done talking and knows he has to show it. He mentioned improving the team's won/loss record was his main concern heading into the season. If he can help scrape up a win in the opener tonight, he'll be well on his way to meeting that goal.

With Brandon Rush suspended for the first five games, the Pacers can only suit up 11 players. According to Mike Wells, Dahntay Jones, Lance Stephenson and A.J. Price will be inactive tonight. A.J. Price is a bit of a shocker considering T.J. Ford hasn't played in a couple of weeks and even if he's playing out of his mind off the bench, that hammy could go at any time. Must say it is strange to have a healthy roster where inactive players aren't a given before game time and considering the thin front court, it is hard to determine who should be inactive instead of Price.

For a San Antonio perspective, check out Pounding The Rock.

I will be talking Pacers with Derek Schultz on XL 950AM at 5:05PM.

Leave your thoughts and observations in the comments.