After nine days off, the Pacers return to action on Friday night when they host the New Orleanse Pelicans.
In what feels like a poor man’s opening night, the strange circumstances of the game extend beyond the fact the teams haven’t played for over a week.
For the Pacers, the injury report surprisingly included Tyreke Evans (ankle) and Myles Turner (hip). Now we know, Tyreke will give it a go while Turner is out, which is a major blow considering the matchups on the other side. McMillan plans to star Kyle O’Quinn in order to keep Domas Sabonis in his regular spot in the rotation along with Tyreke.
As for the Pelicans, their star player Anthony Davis doesn’t want to play for the Pelicans anymore but does want to play in games until he can be traded, which now won’t be until the offseason. But the Pelicans don’t want to play Davis for fear the oft-injured forward may get hurt and damage his value on the trade market, but the NBA is making them play him, so yeah, ‘Go team!’
The Pacers snuck past a severely short-handed Pelicans team in the last meeting in New Orleans. The effort that team played with pushed the Pacers to the edge until Darren Collison made plays late. Now the Pels are far more healthy and on paper are a rough matchup. It is amazing they are 26-33 and now dealing with a toxic situation for the remainder of the season.
Regardless, the Pacers will have to be ready for another 48 minute brawl with the Pels in order to get off to a good start following the All-Star break.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Darren Collison, Wesley Matthews, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young, Kyle O’Quinn
Pelicans: Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Kenrich Williams, Anthony Davis, Jahlil Okafor
IND: Victor Oladipo (right knee) - out, Myles Turner (bruised left hip) - out, Tyreke Evans (left ankle) - questionable
NOP: Elfrid Payton (right ankle sprain) - questionable, Trevon Blueitt (right thumb surgery) - out
Enemy view: The Bird Writes
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.