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Pacers Links: Paul George misses practice, expects to play against Mavericks

The Pacers host the Mavericks on Wednesday for the first matchup between the two teams this season. Both teams have fared better than expected this season.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George has been sick, in a good way, for much of the season, but on Tuesday he was sick in a bad way, forced to miss practive with an upper respiratory illness (see: chest cold). Following practice, Frank Vogel expected to have PG available to play against the Mavs on Wednesday.

Hopefully the illness won't slow down the Pacers' star considering the game against the Mavs begins a difficult four-game stretch that will end on the road in Memphis and San Antonio. The revamped Mavs put the drama of losing out in the DeAndre Jordan sweepstakes this summer behind them and put together a veteran roster that includes a rejuvenated Deron Williams.

Dirk Nowitzki remains a problem and as one of the original stretch 4's he's been able to use size to work over smaller "4's" like C.J. Miles by taking them inside. The Pacers will likely try both spread and big lineups to see which gains traction.

Along with the links today, my latest Pacers discussion on The Phil Naessens Show discusses the upcoming stretch of games and how important early season games have become in the muddled Eastern Conference where more than half of the conference teams are withing two games in the standings.

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Check out the links:

Game Preview: Pacers vs Mavericks | Indiana Pacers

Indiana Pacers' Frank Vogel says ailing Paul George 'should be fine' for Mavericks game | FOX Sports

Mavericks-Pacers Preview - AP

Mavericks set to face Monta Ellis for first time since split | The Star-Telegram

Dallas keeps striking out on free agents, but that doesn't seem to matter in the standings

Dallas Mavericks: National analyst: Mavericks should be buyers before trade deadline | SportsDay

Mavs meet Monta again as they face the Indiana Pacers - Mavs Moneyball