The Pacers started the regular season with an impressive 111-83 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. So it makes sense that they begin a new season, one without star Victor Oladipo, in Memphis to wrap up the season series with the Grizz on Saturday night.
After losing to the Pacers, the Grizzlies proved to be better than expected, going on to a 12-5 start in November. But injuries and inconsistency has disrupted all that was good for the Grizz early, as they have gone 7-25 since that strong start and appear ready to start over by making veterans Mike Conley and Marc Gasol available to trade.
Memphis has lost their last eight games and 14 of their last 15 games, appearing to be in full tank mode. The Pacers meanwhile, are trying to move forward with a business as usual mindset although nothing will be normal with Victor Oladipo out for the remainder of the season.
Tyreke Evans will slide into the starting spot which alters the reserve unit for the Pacers. Aaron Holiday and even Edmond Sumner may get more time to see if they can shine, but the remaining vets for the Pacers also have plenty to play for. Of course, they want to win and remain a viable playoff team, but six key players are also in contract years. Motivation should never be a problem. With a challenging schedule on the horizon, winning games like this against a struggling Memphis team will be critical to any surprise success the Pacers want to deliver.
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Myles Turner
Grizzlies: Mike Conley, Justin Holiday, Garrett Temple, Jaren Jackson Jr., Marc Gasol
IND: Victor Oladipo (right knee) - out
MEM: Kyle Anderson (left ankle) - out, Dillon Brooks (right toe) - out, Chandler Parsons (not with team) - out
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.