PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The short-handed Indiana Pacers are seeking to bounce back in Philadelphia after their 96-95 loss to the Chicago Bulls. The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to win a game this season as they currently hold an 0-11 record. Meanwhile, the Pacers have found an unexpected amount of early success this season. Indiana currently holds a 6-5 record and is eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.
Indiana will be without three key players tonight. George Hill (upper respiratory infection), Rodney Stuckey (right ankle sprain) and Myles Turner (left thumb surgery) are all out for tonight's game against the 76ers. The Pacers will have only 10 active players for this game, just as they did on Monday when they played the Bulls. Every active player received minutes in that game against Chicago, so that should happen again tonight. Indiana is expected to use the following starting lineup; Monta Ellis, Chase Budinger, Paul George, C.J. Miles, and Ian Mahinmi.
Philadelphia will be without a lot of players as well, here is their injury report: Joel Embiid - out (right foot injury), Richaun Holmes - out (right hamstring strain), Carl Landry - out (right wrist injury), Kendall Marshall - out (right knee injury), and Tony Wroten - out (right knee injury). The 76ers are projected to use the following as their starting lineup; T.J. McConnell, Nik Stauskas, Jerami Grant, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor.
The only component of the Philadelphia 76ers that could provide problems for the Pacers is their starting frontcourt. The Pacers will need to make sure to keep Nerlens Noel off the glass and to get him away from the paint in their halfcourt offense. Jahlil Okafor has a dynamic post game and the Pacers could have to resort to sending traps to put pressure on him. Nerlens Noel is the only quality defender on the 76ers and he is going to be facing a very strange matchup (C.J. Miles). Noel will have no choice but to stay home on Miles, or face a barrage of three-pointers, which means that the Pacers will keep Noel out of the paint by spacing the floor.
The bulk of the offensive load is going to have to come from Paul George and Monta Ellis. They are going to have to be the ones that setup their teammates, score most of the points, and simply get the offensive going by making something happen with the ball in their hands. Fortunately for the Pacers, both Ellis and George have favorable matchups. Nobody on the 76ers roster can contain either Ellis or George, so they should have no problems carrying the offensive load tonight. The other supporting cast players need to simply focusing on fulfilling their roles and not trying to do things with the ball that they can't do. George and Ellis are going to give all-around contributions on both sides of the floor, but they are going to need help.
Indiana's supporting cast needs to step up this game in almost every way. The Pacers' role players have really only done a quality job of rebounding the ball and finding their open teammates as of late. Paul George and Monta Ellis have really covered up a lot of poor play by their fellow teammates. Their teammates need to do a better job of executing in the following ways; executing on shot attempts in the paint, executing on shot attempts from mid-range, executing on shot attempts from the perimeter, executing on individual defensive assignments, executing quality rotations in help-defense, and making plays on defense. So basically every aspect of basketball. Tonight would be a great night for these players to turn things around.
Tip-off for this game is at 7:00 P.M. Eastern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Wells Fargo Center.