Pacers-Kings Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 17, 2012
Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel is pleased with his team's defense, but the offense still needs some work. Sacramento Kings coach Keith Smart can relate to those concerns. The Pacers go for a season-high fourth consecutive victory Wednesday night at Sacramento in their only meeting with the Kings in 2011-12. Indiana (9-3) is among the league leaders in scoring defense with 88.9 points per game, field-goal percentage defense at 41.5, steals per game at 9.6 and blocks with 5.7. The stingy play at the defensive end has given Indiana a chance to match its best start since 2004-05 with a win Wednesday. The Pacers, though, are shooting 41.3 percent and averaging 93.2 points - 96.0 during their winning streak - as the team has struggled to adapt to the increased tempo Vogel is stressing. "The total points per game is as much a byproduct of the pace of the game and we're not playing fast enough," he told the Pacers' official website. "Hopefully we'll start getting our scores up into the hundreds but our defense has been very solid. I'm very pleased where we are with that." Coming off a three-day break after a 97-83 victory over Boston on Saturday - the team's longest layoff of the season other than the All-Star break next month - Indiana will play 10 of 14 on the road as it begins a three-game trip. Forward Danny Granger doesn't seem too concerned about where the Pacers play. "I think the message is that we're a force to be reckoned with in the East,'' he said after scoring a team-best 21 points against the Celtics. "It's not one of those fluke things where we just started having a good beginning of the season. We're actually a legitimate contender in the East. We're right there, and we should be recognized as that.'' Granger scored a season-high 37 in the Pacers' last game in Sacramento, a 107-98 victory Nov. 30, 2010. The Kings (4-10) return home following a 1-4 trip that ended with a 99-86 defeat to Minnesota on Monday. Sacramento, loser of five of six, is scoring 90.1 points per game - 88.3 in seven games since Smart replaced the fired Paul Westphal - and shooting a league-worst 39.6 percent. "I've got the simplest offense you can run," said Smart, 2-5 as Kings coach. "You just move it to a spot and move it to the next spot. But for whatever reason we're trying to make the play ourselves with the defense set, looking at the basketball.'' Guard Tyreke Evans, though, is one Sacramento player having trouble in that offense. He has totaled 12 points and gone 4 of 19 from the field in the last two games. "We've got to find a better way to swing the ball a few times and take better shots," Evans said. Indiana has held opponents to 84.0 points and 40.2 percent shooting during its 5-1 stretch. Evans had 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the Pacers' last visit. In his first game back after missing 19 with plantar fasciitis, he finished with six points with eight boards in a 110-93 victory at Indiana on March 25. DeMarcus Cousins scored 19.0 points per game with 11.0 rebounds versus the Pacers in 2010-11, while Indiana center Roy Hibbert totaled 27 points and 13 boards in those matchups. The last five games between these teams in Sacramento have been decided by nine or fewer points, with Indiana winning three.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Osweiler: Film from last two years proves I should be starter

Daughter of Bucks owner burns Bill Simmons on Twitter

Tiger Woods tells golf world to try and kick this football he’s holding

Tyronn Lue: Gameplanning to defend Celtics harder than Warriors

How the Senators can upset the Penguins in Game 7

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Paxton Lynch cutting out early while other QBs stay late

Michael Jordan unique 1984 Converse shoes could fetch up to $100K at auction

Joe Girardi has interesting reason why no medical scans for Masahiro Tanaka

Ezekiel Elliott’s mom fires back after son criticized for being in car accident

Browns make Ryan Grigson senior personnel executive

Potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz looks positively jacked in recent photo

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker