Game Preview: Pacers vs Trail Blazers

Matchup

If their first game was any indication, the 2017-18 Pacers are young, fast, and entertaining.

Indiana (1-0) scorched the Nets in a 140-131 win on Opening Night presented by Kroger.

Yes, it was one game and yes, it was at home against the lowly Nets, owners of the NBA’s worst record last season. But still, little was expected from a Pacers team that traded away four-time All-Star Paul George over the summer and saw several other main contributors depart in free agency. So Wednesday’s win gave the fanbase a much-needed jolt of excitement about the revamped Blue & Gold.

The Pacers’ 140 points were their most in any game since they scored 144 on Nov. 9, 2010, just a couple weeks into George’s rookie season. Head coach Nate McMillan said after the win he told his team he wanted his team to try to average 110 points per game, a figure that would have put them in the top five in the league last season.

OPENING WEEK PRESENTED BY KROGER: Secure Your Seats for Friday’s Game »

So far, so good.

Victor Oladipo looked especially sharp in the up-tempo attack, tallying 22 points, four assists, and four steals despite playing under 25 minutes due to foul trouble. His backcourt mate Darren Collison was just as good, racking up 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 11 assists.

Those guards will need another strong performance on Friday to match Portland’s high-scoring backcourt. All-Star point guard Damian Lillard averaged 27.0 points and 5.9 assists last year, while his running mate C.J. McCollum averaged 23.0 points and shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range.

Friday will actually be McCollum’s season debut, as he was suspended for the Blazers’ opener in Phoenix on Wednesday for leaving the bench during an altercation in Portland’s last preseason contest.

But even with their sharpshooter sidelined, the Blazers (1-0) put together arguably the most impressive season debut of any team in the NBA, leading by as many as 58 points in a 124-76 road victory.

If both teams can maintain the same energy they brought to their season openers, Friday’s game will be quite the spectacle.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG – Darren Collison, SG – Victor Oladipo, SF – Bojan Bogdanovic, PF – Thaddeus Young, C – Myles Turner
Trail Blazers: PG – Damian Lillard, SG – C.J. McCollum, SF – Maurice Harkless, PF – Al-Farouq Aminu, C – Josef Nurkic

Injury Report

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III – out (left high ankle sprain), Edmond Sumner – out (left knee surgery rehabilitation), Ike Anigbogu – questionable (right knee surgery rehabilitation)

Trail Blazers: TBD

Last Meeting

December 10, 2016: The Blazers led by 20 points in the first half, but the Pacers rallied, as Paul George and Thaddeus Young combined for 61 points to lead Indiana to a 118-111 win over Portland at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“We kept battling,” Young, who knocked down a career-best six 3-pointers, said after the win. “We talked about playing through the shot clock. At halftime, we talked about Portland not being able to keep shooting as well as they were. We kept it together as a team and that was the difference tonight.”

George led all scorers with 37 points, going 13-for-27 from the field and 5-for-10 from 3-point range. Young added 24 points and nine rebounds, making 9-of-13 shots overall and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers are 34-52 all-time against Portland, but own a 24-19 record against the Blazers in games played in Indiana.
  • The Blazers have won seven of the last nine meetings with the Blue & Gold.
  • The Pacers’ roster features the youngest player in the NBA this season, Ike Anigbogu, and the fifth-oldest player in the league, Damien Wilkins (younger than only Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki).

Tickets

The Pacers will welcome Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

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Home Court Gift Shop Game Night Special

Primary Logo Tee – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased in the Home Court Gift Shop or any of our souvenir stands located on all levels of Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The special is also available online at PacersGear.com until midnight.–>


Construction Note: The city’s department of public works is replacing the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Street from just north of Georgia Street to Bankers Life Court. Portions of the sidewalk may be closed, but pedestrians should still have access to the Pennsylvania Street entrance of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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Away Game Night Special

Primary Logo T-Shirt – $12. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM – Midnight. Order Online »–>
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