Discover more from Indy Cornrows with Tom Lewis
After weekend split, Pacers host Wembanyama, Spurs to begin continue busy week at Fieldhouse
The Spurs' 7'5 rookie will be the main attraction on Monday, but the Pacers are favorites to bump above .500, again.
After a family weekend on the road, catching up with the Pacers weekend split against the Cavs and Hornets last night was equal parts fun and flabbergasting. But the even Steven Pacers managed a split to end up at 3-3 on the season.
With San Antonio in town on Monday, their rookie Victor Wembanyama, the 7’5 French phenom makes his first foray to the Fieldhouse. The Spurs arrive at the Fieldhouse on the wrong side of a back-to-back after giving up 75 second half points, including 39 in the fourth quarter, before eventually losing in OT at Toronto on Sunday.
Wild swings in play during a game? Why does that sound familiar?
The Pacers had their own the late fade to lose 125-124 to the Hornets on Saturday, allowing frustration to foment over what could’ve been. It was easy to ‘if, and or but’ several scenarios for the Pacers emerging 2-0 after the weekend back-to-back. However, it was equally easy to admit, 0-2 was just as close.
The Pacers are literally a .500 team after a small sample of six games, which is perfect considering the reliably inconsistent play they have delivered. That inconsistency has shown up a bit from game to game, but more frustratingly (or flabbergastingly?) the inconsistency is within the individual games.
Slow starts, fast start…yep.
Bench comes up huge, bench has off night…yep
Second quarter run, second quarter fade…yep
Third quarter run, third quarter fade…yep
Close out win at crunch time, let win slip away in crunch time…yep
…and the Celtics game.
We’ve seen it all through six games with different players taking lead roles in both the good and the bad.
Already seems like a season’s worth of chaos and variability and we’re just getting started which make bold declarations a bit foolish. You want to give the rotation combination enough time to work through issues, but it certainly seems reasonable to continue juggling who, what and when those players are in the game. So many combos and clicked and also clunked. It feels like they are not that far away from a solid playoff team and then look lottery bound.
In reality, they are somewhere in the middle, you know, like the .500 team that they are currently.
As mentioned above, the Spurs are in Indy which should make for a lively Fieldhouse considering the Monday night game because with the Spurs, fans now get to see Victor Wembanyama who has not disappointed thus far. In fact, I’d say he’s exceeded the ridiculous expectations heaped on his thin shoulders to begin the season.
The 38-point effort to put away Kevin Durant and the Suns was the only full game I’ve seen him play. There are not shortage of outlandish highlights of the big fella finishing around the rim, knocking down step-back threes and blocking shots of all varieties. But watching his impact play-to-play was impressive against the Suns. He seems to be lurking all over the court defensively, regardless of who he’s matched up with.
There was some concern he may not play after logging 38 minutes in Toronto on Sunday. However, the lengthy injury report on Monday afternoon did not include Wemby. That list includes Devin Vassell who is out and Keldon Johnson who is questionable and key players in the Spurs young rotation.
Obviously, with Wemby on the court, the Spurs are always big, but they often play really big with Wemby at PF and Zach Collins playing center, plus 6’8 Jeremy Sochan has essentially been playing point guard. Considering the Pacers struggles keeping team from scoring at the rim, we’ll see if the Pacers can cover the line that has the Blue and Gold favored to win by nine points.
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
When: Monday, Nov. 6, 2023
TV: Bally Sports
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan
Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Bruce Brown, Bennedict Mathurin, Obi Toppin, Myles Turner
Spurs: Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham, Keldon Johnson, Victor Wembanyama, Zach Collins
Pacers: Jarace Walker (illness) - questionable
Spurs: Keldon Johnson (left wrist) - questionable, Devin Vassell (adductor strain) - out, Sidy Cissoko (G League assignment) - out
Indy Cornrows with Tom Lewis is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.