Indiana Pacers: Backcourt defense will be tested by the San Antonio Spurs

Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Hoping to snap their tedious three-game losing streak to begin their campaign, the Indiana Pacers will host the San Antonio Spurs for their first inter-conference matchup of the season. This contest will commence a string of outings vs. the West, with five out of their next six opponents all against non-East teams.

7 PM ET. Bally Sports Indiana. 29. Monday, Nov 1. 1-6. 100. . 2-4

Despite the San Antonio Spurs appearing on paper as their easiest matchup to date, the Indiana Pacers, with their injuries and inconsistent play, are far from the favorites entering this contest. After all, they are still projected to miss Malcolm Brogdon, and of course, TJ Warren, for their first crack against the West.

While the Pacers are fresh off a back-to-back which saw them log close losses to the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs have significant momentum on their side after snapping a prior four-game skid by beating the defending champs Milwaukee Bucks on the road in encouraging fashion.

The Indiana Pacers’ backcourt defense will be tested by the young and springy San Antonio Spurs

The Indiana Pacers can’t look at this rebuilding San Antonio Spurs squad and think that they’re gunning for losses. Virtually all losses by the latter have come against projected contending teams, with none of those ending decisively against them. With Gregg Popovich still calling the shots, counting them out is a recipe for disaster.

One player to look out for in the Silver and Black is Dejounte Murray, who has been averaging a near triple-double. Known more for his defensive prowess, his scoring and facilitating has substantially improved. Aside from him, staples Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, and Keldon Johnson are agile players who are not only athletic, but also heady enough to make plays on both ends of the floor with consistency.

With San Antonio starting four players under 6’6 due to former Pacer Doug McDermott being sidelined, the Pacers’ backcourt defense will be tested heavily by the Spurs’ newfound egalitarian and drive-heavy approach on offense. Without Brogdon, their most reliable perimeter stopper, the likes of TJ McConnell, Chris Duarte and Caris LeVert will have their hands full trying to slow the game down and limit their scorers.

On offense, the Pacers have to capitalize on their size advantage. Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner have to be assertive against San Antonio’s switchy D. Unfortunately, if their losses to the Raptors are any indication, Indiana has to stop succumbing to pressure. With the Spurs one of the best teams in forcing turnovers, their similar defensive style to the Raptors may spell doom for the Blue and Gold if they haven’t taken their pointers yet.

dark. Next. The Indiana Pacers should realize that in today's NBA, continuity may be fool's gold