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- The Pacers will throw out a lineup change tonight with Sam Young starting at forward in place of Gerald Green. Coach Frank Vogel wants Green to keep scoring and Young to beef up the defense more quickly in games. “When you lose someone like Danny Granger (to the knee injury at the beginning of the season) you have to create a new identity,” Vogel said. “Both of those guys are playing out of rhythm. This is a trial and error kind of time with Danny going down and lots of new faces. We’ll see if Sam can come in with the starters and play the defense and dirty-work kind of role and see if Gerald fits in more as a scorer with the second unit.” Young hasn’t scored more than four points in any of the three games for the Pacers (2-1) this year, but he hasn’t played more than 12 minutes in any of those games. Green, the original replacement for Granger, just had his best game of the season in the double-overtime win two nights ago against Sacramento, hitting 6-of-9 shots for 17 points. He was 5-of-19 from the floor prior to that.
- Manu Ginobili got his first action this season on Saturday night with 15 1/2 minutes off the bench in the 110-100 victory over Utah, but he said the back spasms that had sidelined him for the first two games of the season could be felt a little bit. “It’s better than last week,” he said, “but still not quite there yet. I can see progress, so that’s good. For sure I’m not ready to play 25 or 30 (minutes). I felt I could have played more the other night (against Utah) but the next morning it was hurting a little bit.”
- George Hill hasn’t played less than 32 minutes in a game this year and logged 44 1/2 minutes in double overtime on Saturday, but the Pacers point guard said he’s still having some pain in his right hip because of the hip pointer he suffered in preseason. “I still deal with it and try to push through it,” Hill said. “They keep telling me it’s supposed to get better each day, but I feel like it’s never getting better because I keep getting hits on it.” Hill, the former Spurs guard traded last year so San Antonio could get the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard, said he turned in requests for 15 tickets for friends, less than last year when he was in his first season playing for Indiana in the return to San Antonio.
- The Spurs are trying for their first 4-0 start to the season in the team’s 40-year history in San Antonio.
– Tim Price