(SportsNetwork.com) - The undefeated Indiana Pacers will face a tough test in
remaining perfect Monday night when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to
Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers are off to the best start in franchise history. They already own a
four-game lead in the Central Division and are three games ahead of the Miami
Heat and Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference.
"I really don't get caught up in the historical value of our record; we're
ahead of the race," said head coach Frank Vogel. "We're trying to get the No.
1 seed and put ourselves in the best position come playoff time to come out of
the East. That's what I'm concerned about."
The Pacers reached 7-0 with an impressive 96-91 victory over the Brooklyn Nets
Friday night at the Barclays Center.
"That's a big time win for our team, fourth game in five nights. To come into
a building like this, playoff atmosphere, tough to win against a basketball
team like this," said Vogel. "I don't care what Brooklyn's record is, they're
going to be there down the stretch."
Paul George continued to be great with 24 points and six rebounds on Friday.
He is third in the league in scoring at 25.1 ppg.
David West scored 18 points, while Roy Hibbert finished with 15 points, 11
rebounds and two blocks. Lance Stephenson also had 15 points.
The Pacers and Grizzlies finished first and second in almost every defensive
category last season. Indiana is doing its part this time around, leading the
NBA in opponents' scoring by almost 8.0 ppg, and topping the list in
opponents' field-goal percentage.
Memphis hasn't kept up its end.
The Grizzlies are 15th in opponents' scoring and 20th in opponents' field-goal
They displayed some of that vaunted Memphis defense on Saturday at home with a
108-90 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors, one of the best offensive units
in the NBA.
The Grizzlies held the Warriors to 42.3 percent shooting and kept them almost
13 points below their season average.
Six Memphis players scored in double figures, led by 23 points and 11 rebounds
from Zach Randolph. Mike Conley got 20 points and Marc Gasol added 18.
Tayshaun Prince, Mike Miller and Tony Allen were the other double-digit
scorers against Golden State.
"We just got back to powering the ball inside and trying to play the passing
lane, and pressing up on the wings, showing high on the pick-and-roll
coverage," said Allen. "It's everyone paying attention to detail for 48
minutes. This was a perfect sign of the Grizzlies playing hard and playing
The Pacers swept both of last season's matchups, but Memphis has taken three
of its last five in Indianapolis.
The Sports Network