The L.A. Clippers (14-3) face the Indiana Pacers (8-9), without their superstar forward Paul George, at 6 p.m. EST on Sunday.
Sunday’s matchup is the Clippers only trip to Indiana this season, and George is expected to be out with back and ankle injuries, per Fox Sports.
George is obviously the Pacers’ leading scorer and most valuable player. He is averaging 20.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
Indiana big man Kevin Seraphin is also expected to miss the game against the Clippers with an ankle injury.
Still, the Pacers are fresh off a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. George also sat out of that contest.
Glen Robinson III filled in for the injured George and C.J. Miles. Robinson responded with a career-high 20 points against the Nets.
The win came after the Pacers hosted a players-only meeting on Thursday. Paul George called the meeting after practice, due to Indiana’s ninth loss of the year.
After, George said he wanted guys to start seeing the game differently. He said there is no reason why the team should not communicate on the offensive end.
Meanwhile, the Clippers dropped their first road loss of the season versus the Detroit Pistons. It was a 108-97 win for Detroit in a game which Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said his team only “kind of showed up” for.
All five Detroit Pistons starters scored in double figures, as the Pistons ended an 11-game losing streak to the Clippers. The Clippers were expected to win again on Friday, as they had beaten the Pistons in L.A. earlier this year.
This was the Clippers 16th game in 27 days, which is the most in the NBA. Head coach Doc Rivers explained that this could contribute to the team’s regression on defense. The team has not practiced since Oct. 29, due to the demanding schedule.
Rivers told the L.A. Times that the team has a lot of fixable issues to review on defense.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul said everything can be easily fixed. Paul said his team has had the right approach entering every game this season, but there are a few things to be cleaned up.
L.A. will need to fix their defense and enter Sunday’s game with the right approach. The Clippers have not lost two-straight games this season, so they will look to avoid that in Indiana.
Offensively, the Clippers are third in the NBA in points per game. L.A. averages 110.1 points per game, while the Pacers give up the sixth-most points per game in the NBA (107.2 points).
Part of that offensive success comes from the free-throw line. After 17 games, the Los Angeles Clippers take and make more free throws than any other team in the NBA.
Forward Paul Pierce said that dangerous players get to the free throw line down the stretch of games. Hence, this has helped L.A. win close games.
Last season, the Pacers and Clippers split their two-game series. Paul scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, during his only game against the Pacers last season. Paul is averaging 17.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 8.9 assists this season.
This game will be the Clippers’ third road game during a six-game road trip.
Indiana is in the final game of a four-game homestand. The Pacers have won seven of 11 games at home this year. Three of those home losses were without George in the lineup.
Currently, Indiana is the eighth team in the Eastern Conference. They have the same amount of wins as the New York Knicks (8-8) and Detroit Pistons (8-10).
In the Western Conference, the Clippers have the second-best record. L.A. is behind the Golden State Warriors (14-2), who have the NBA’s best record.
Both the Clippers and Pacers won a game on the road during last season’s series. L.A. has won their last two games in Indiana. The Clippers and Pacers play again on December 4 in Los Angeles.
[Featured Image by Bob Leverone/AP Images]