Following the sudden and tragic death of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant during the day on Sunday, there was some feeling the NBA may cancel games as everyone around the league tried to grapple with the horrific news. Logistics wold make such an emotional decision nearly impossible, not to mention the uber competitive Bryant would be more honored to have players compete in his memory.
The crazy circumstances for the Pacers add to the difficulty of the matchup against Portland. The Blazers expect C.J. McCollum back in the lineup to bolster their lethal backcourt and newly acquired Trevor Ariza gives the Pacers a different look with a smaller, offensive-minded front court.
The Pacers are severely short-handed with Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner both out of the starting lineup. JaKarr Sampson is questionable so who starts for Turner remains in flux. Alize Johnson will likely get some time at forward along with Goga Bitadze.
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
When: 9:00 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports Indiana/NBA TV
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: T.J. McConnell Jeremy Lamb, T.J. Warren, JaKarr Sampson, Domantas Sabonis
Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony, Hassan Whiteside
IND: Victor Oladipo (knee) - out, Malcolm Brogdon (concussion) - out, Myles Turner (illness) - out, TJ Leaf (knee) - questionable, JaKarr Sampson (ankle) - questionable
POR: CJ McCollum (left ankle) - probable, Zach Collins (shoulder) - out, Rodney Hood (left Achilles) - out, Skal Labissiere (left knee) - out, Jusuf Nurkic (left leg) - out
Enemy view: Blazers Edge
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.