Pacers vs. Warriors preview

BY foxsports • November 11, 2009

By CHRIS ALTRUDA
STATS Editor

The Golden State Warriors aren't making a big deal over their two victories in the young season, but they realize how important it is to build off the most recent one.

The Warriors open a season-high five-game road trip against the Indiana Pacers, who are trying to climb back to .500 after a slow start.

Golden State (2-4) has only beaten Memphis and Minnesota -- owners of the worst records in the Western Conference -- but has momentum on its side after dismantling the Timberwolves 146-105 on Monday night.

"You have to understand that our two wins were against teams that are struggling so I wouldn't make too much out of it," coach Don Nelson said. "But we did play very well and we did a lot of things we've been working on."

Stephen Jackson, whom Nelson is still trying to trade after the disgruntled swingman made the request in the offseason, had 10 points and a career-high 15 assists as the Warriors shot 57.1 percent and scored their most points in more than 15 years.

Jackson, who played with the Pacers for two-plus seasons from 2004-07, has averaged 20.5 points in four games versus Indiana since being dealt to Golden State on Jan. 17, 2007.

Golden State also makes stops at New York and Milwaukee before capping its road swing with games at Cleveland and Boston on back-to-back nights.

The Warriors have shot 50 percent or better in three of their last four games, but Monday's rout also hid their defensive shortcomings. Golden State did record 22 steals, but it has allowed at least 105 points in all six of its games and 113.2 per game overall - among the worst in the NBA.

While the Pacers (2-3) are not among the league's elite, they have a chance to erase their 0-3 start with a victory. Indiana has played solid defense in victories over Washington and New York, allowing an average of 87.5 points after yielding 109.0 per game in its early struggles.

The Pacers limited the Wizards to 39.3 percent shooting in their 102-86 win Friday as Danny Granger scored 22 points while Roy Hibbert posted his third straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

"He's really doing a good job in cases at the defensive end, communicating, protecting the basket," coach Jim O'Brien told the Pacers' official Web site about the second-year center. "He is scoring the ball fairly accurately in the low post."

The 7-foot-2 Hibbert - getting more playing time as Troy Murphy recovers from a back injury - has averaged 13.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.7 blocks during his streak after failing to record a double-double as a rookie.

Tyler Hansbrough contributed 13 points and five rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench in his NBA debut after missing the entire preseason and first four games with an injured shin. The 13th overall pick made 7 of 10 free throws as Indiana amassed a 27-15 edge at the foul line.

"A little rusty in a lot of areas, but he's going to be in the attack mode at the offense and defensive end, he's going to go after every rebound," O'Brien said.

Granger scored 42 points in a 120-117 win at Golden State on Jan. 11 that gave Indiana a split of the season series. The Pacers have won seven of eight at home versus the Warriors.


share