• Darren Collison has been down this road before, filling in for an injured Chris Paul. Collison stepped in during the 2009-10 season when both were Hornets and averaged 19.0 points and 8.8 assists in 36 games as the fill-in, and now he’s stepping up once again with Paul sidelined by a right shoulder separation. Collison, who started 135 games with the Pacers from 2010-12, is averaging 15.8 points and 8.6 assists in the past six games, including a current five-game win streak.
  • In Paul’s absence, Clippers coach Doc Rivers has changed the team’s offensive approach out of necessity. “We couldn’t depend on Darren or any of our players doing the plays Chris Paul does,” he said. “It’s just not going to happen. We’ve always had good movement but now we’re running a lot of things through Blake (Griffin), from the post, from the elbows. We’re running more of a motion system at times and just let the pass find the open guy instead of allowing Chris to find the open guy.”
  • The Clippers have averaged 114.6 points in their five-game win streak and will pose another challenge to Indiana’s NBA-leading defense. Coach Frank Vogel said the key is to “Run back, run back, run back. Run back fast and loud and match up. We’ve got to keep them out of transition. It starts there.” Vogel pointed out the Clippers have averaged 34 free throw attempts and 30 3-point attempts in the win streak. “It’s the biggest challenge our defense has seen in some time,” he said.
  • Hedo Turkoglu, signed Thursday, made his debut with the Clippers in a 109-95 victory in New York Friday night, playing 6:43 and scoring two points. With the Clippers in the midst of a seven-game, 11-day road trip, Rivers said there isn’t much practice time available to get Turkoglu up to speed with the schemes, so he’ll just need to learn in the fly in games.
  • The Pacers will start their usual lineup of George Hill, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert. Solomon Hill is a healthy inactive.
  • The Clippers counter with Collison, J.J. Redick, Jared Dudley, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Paul and Reggie Bullock are inactive.

– Conrad Brunner

Comments are closed.