INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It's been 11 days since the Indiana Pacers have played a home game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and a lot has changed since then. Victor Oladipo is gone, but the same challenges lie ahead for the Pacers.
With no one distancing themselves in the Eastern Conference, the Pacers at 8-5 are right in the thick of things. They come home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Here's everything you need to know about Wednesday night's game between the Indiana Pacers and the Dallas Mavericks:
Here are the particulars on Wednesday night's game:
- Who: Dallas Mavericks (6-7) vs. Indiana Pacers (8-5)
- When: 7 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Jan. 20.
- Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Latest Line: The Dallas Mavericks are a 1-point favorite over the Indiana Pacers, according to the DraftKings.com website as of 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
- Standings: Indiana is in second place in the Eastern Conference's Central division, a half-game behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Dallas is in third place in the Western Conference's Southwest division, 1.5 games out of first behind the San Antonio Spurs.
- Series history: Dallas leads the all-time series, 44-33.
- Last meeting: Indiana beat Dallas 112-109 on March 8, 2020 in Dallas. Victor Oladipo hit the go-ahead jump shot with 38.3 seconds remaining for Indiana. It was the last road game of the season for the Pacers last March before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.
- Projected Mavericks starters: Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Wes Iwundu, Kristaps Porzingis, Willie Cauley-Stein
- Projected Pacers starters: Malcolm Brodgon, Edmond Sumner, Justin Holiday, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis.
- TV: FOX Sports Indiana.
- Announcers: Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
- Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Here are three things to watch in Wednesday night's game:
1. Where does scoring come from?
Victor Oladipo is gone now, packed away in a trade to the Houston Rockets. His replacement, Caris Levert, won't be available for a while, and starters Myles Turner (fractured right hand) and T.J. Warren (left foot stress fracture) are both out with injuries.
That's a lot of firepower not available. It will be interesting to see where the scoring comes from, and how consistently it comes.
2. Can the Pacers contain Luka Doncic?
Luka Doncic has quickly become one of the best players in the league, and he's got the numbers to prove it, averaging 27.2 points and 9.2 assists per game. He's a difficult cover for anyone, especially the Pacers.
In their last meeting, Doncic went off for 36 points against the Pacers, and nearly had a triple double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. The Pacers need to come at him for different directions and get the ball out of his hands when he can.
3. Porzingis back in saddle for Mavs
Kristaps Porzingis finally made his season debut last Wednesday, and he always enjoys seeing the Pacers. Against Indiana, he's averaging 20.6 points per game and has scored 35 points or more in two of his last three games against the Pacers. He's a tough cover, especially with Myles Turner out for the Pacers.
“I think you can see that with every game I’m feeling more and more comfortable out there and trying to find my groove as well as us as a team,'' Porzingis said. "We have new guys that I’m playing with right now and we don’t have some guys that we’re used to having. So it’s always an adjustment and it’s never the same situation and every game is different.”