Tip-off from Banker’s Life Fieldhouse is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST. The game can be seen locally on FS Florida and nationally on NBA TV.
As always, if you can’t watch the game, you can listen on the radio – in English on AM 580 WDBO and FM 96.5 and in Spanish on AM 1270 WRLZ.
The officials for tonight’s game are Derrick Stafford, Bill Kennedy and Gary Zielinski. The alternate is Brian Forte.
The Line: Indiana – 9.0 (187.5)
You can read the series preview here.
After the Pacers let the Magic end the game on an 11-0 and steal the opening game of their first round series, most pundits simply wrote it off as a bad night for Indiana. I don’t completely disagree – clearly, Indiana didn’t play their best game. They shot poorly from the free throw line (13-of-22, 59.1%), from the field (30-of-87, 34.5%) and made several uncharacteristic mistakes.
However, you could make a similar statement about the Magic. They were terrible from the field (32-of-81, 39.5%), missed open three-pointers (9-of-24, 37.5%) and rarely got to the free throw line (8-of-11, but 6 of those came from intentional fouls in the last few seconds). Plus, Ryan Anderson, Orlando’s leading scorer (sans Dwight Howard) had just 5 points on 2-of-7 shooting. J.J. Redick had just 6 points and only attempted 4 shots.
Both teams will probably play better offensively and the Pacers will probably play with a sense of urgency – they can’t afford to head down to Orlando trailing 2-0.
The Magic have to get Roy Hibbert into foul trouble. The big man was defended well by Glen Davis (8 points on 3-of-11 shooting), but Hibbert still grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked 9 shots. The Magic have to force Hibbert into fouls to help take him out of the game so they can get into the paint.
George Hill had a lot of trouble defending the pick-and-roll while Darren Collison did a better job of defending it. The Pacers say they’ve made adjustments, but the Magic need to pound them with their bread and butter. Nelson had some chances to get to the basket because the Pacers were so concerned with the screeners getting open. I’d also like to see the Magic use Hedo Turokoglu as the ball handler on pick-and-rolls a little more often in game 2.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider (http://ESPNFlorida.com) and is the co-host of the ESPNFlorida.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)