The exciting Pacers and high flying Clippers play out this weeks Game Of The Week.[caption id="attachment_14606" align="aligncenter" width="485"] Photo Credit: Chris Chambers/Getty Images[/caption] This week's Game Of The Week is between two of the best teams of their respective conferences. The Pacers are from the East and the Clippers from the West. Let's take a look at this tantalizing match up.
GAME TIME & VIEWING OPTIONSTime & Date: Friday, March 1, 2013 11:00am AEDT Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis. Viewing Info: NBA League Pass (see our TV Guide for full info)
FORM HEADING INIndiana Pacers: 35-21 The Pacers are quickly becoming the second best team in the East, behind Miami. They have a great team that loves to play together and it clearly shows on the court. As we continue to get deeper into this season, Indiana are looking more and more dangerous. I look forward to seeing what this team can do in the Playoffs. Los Angeles Clippers: 40-18 There is no doubting that the Clippers have shown they can compete with anyone in the league.That being said, it still seems they need another good player to really be classed as a true contender. During the trade period there were rumblings that they wanted Kevin Garnett desperately, but that never eventuated. When the going gets tough in the Playoffs we know Chris Paul will stand up, it will be interesting to see who joins him.
MATCH UP OF THE NIGHTThe match up at the point guard position between George Hill and Chris Paul could be much closer then many might think. Paul is seen as the better player, which can't be argued, but don't think that means Hill won't have a big impact on the outcome of this match. Paul has been in the top 5 of MVP talks all season long, which is well deserved. He has been the heart and soul of the Clippers since he arrived. When Paul is on, the Clippers are on. When Paul has a rare off night, the Clippers struggle to compete. He had the worst game of the season recently against Tony Parker and the Spurs. Parker totally outplayed him, which led to the Spurs blowing out the Clippers 116-90. Hill is a good fit for this Pacers team. He is only averaging 5 assists per game, but he does provide the team with almost 15 points too. He is showing a lot of confidence in his game this season, which is translating to the stat sheet with less than 2 turnovers in 35 minutes per game. If Hill can play tight defense on Paul, look for the Pacers to rally around him and lift as a unit. Both players will be looking to dish off alley-oops to their big jumpers, but both also love to score themselves. It will be great to see who plays the best defence to keep the other from doing too much damage offensively.
BENCH BATTLEThe Clippers second unit is known around the league as one of the best there is. The Pacers second unit may not be as well recognized, but they still have solid contributors. Let's take a look at who to watch out for. Lance Stephenson has improved tremendously since last season. He is now providing the Pacers with a good back up option at the guard position. He has upped his points per game from only 2.5 last season to 8.4 this season, his rebounds from 1.3 to 3.8 and his assists from 1.1 to 2.7.This is a great sign for his future, showing he is willing to put in the effort and improve greatly. Jamal Crawford is exactly what the Clippers need going forward. He provides an instant offensive threat and loves coming off the bench for the benefit of his team. Crawford is a great player to watch, if you like watching crossovers, look no further than this man. Gerald Green hasn't been having the best season. He hasn't been able to push on from his encouraging season with the Nets in 2011-12. All his stats have dropped from last season, and with that his minutes have started to decrease too. Everyone knows he can dunk, even if he didn't win this years dunk contest, but he is yet to show that he can consistently put up good numbers to go along with his huge jump. Matt Barnes is proving many people wrong this season and has actually been playing an important role on this Clippers team. Barnes along with Lamar Odom are really starting to get in a rhythm and play some serious minutes. Barnes is relentless on both ends of the court and it looks as though he is really enjoying playing ball.
X FACTORPaul George is leading this Indiana team just as fans would want him to. He is putting together a great all round game, and getting the recognition he deserves by being selected for his first All Star game this year. Caron Butler had better be on his toes and ready to compete with George. If George gets hot early, his team mates will keep feeding him the ball and before you know it he could have 15 points very quickly. Butler will need to be switched on on both ends of the court to try to combat George's rebounding too. If Butler can play tight on him and box him out, it will help the Clippers a lot.
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPSL.A Clippers:
- Point guard: Chris Paul
- Shooting guard: Chauncey Billups
- Small forward: Caron Butler
- Power forward: Blake Griffin
- Centre: DeAndre Jordan
- Point guard: George Hill
- Shooting guard: Lance Stephenson
- Small forward: Paul George
- Power forward: David West
- Centre: Roy Hibbert
PREDICTIONI look forward to this match up not just for Blake Griffin and Gerald Green dunks, but also for the way these two teams play the game. They are both exciting to watch and have potential match winners at multiple positions. My prediction: Indiana Pacers: 112 - L.A Clippers: 105
What's your prediction for this week?