With the Spurs tipping off the 2010-11 season tonight against the Indiana Pacers, I talked to Josh Dhani of Always Miller Time for the first Gameday Q&A of the season. I also had a chance to talk to Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds as part of our live season preview show last night and I’ve included that audio at the bottom of this post.
1. How does the addition of Darren Collison help the Pacers?
The addition definitely helps out. T.J. Ford is decent, but it isn’t good enough for Indy to contend. The point guard spot is by far the weakest. Even though Indy had to give up Troy Murphy for him, I still believe Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert can become a good bunch.
2. Danny Granger is probably the most underrated NBA player. Do you think this is the year he gets the credit he deserves?
Yes, defintiely. With a much a much more improved team, Danny Granger can step up as the full-time leader. And with a good point guard and a center prepared for a breakout season, Granger can make himself one of the Top 10 players in the league by the time the season ends.
3. Manu Ginobili comes into this season in great shape after an offseason free of international play. While he went through a slump early on in the preseason, he got through that over the final two preseason games. How will Indiana defend him and keep him from torching Dunleavy?
Mike Dunleavy needs to get Ginobili good on defense. But if Dunleavy can’t handle him and Ginobili gets on a roll, I expect Indy putting in Dahntay Jones, a defensive-stopper, and tame Manu.
4. What is the injury status for tonight’s game?
Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, and T.J. Ford are a bit banged up, but it has healed down. They are all at least 99.9% to go.
5. What is your key matchup of the game and what is your prediction?
I think it is going to be Tim Duncan versus Roy Hibbert. Last season when the Spurs beat Indiana 100-99, Hibbert guarded Duncan fairly well throughout the game. However, Duncan got him last, getting the game-winning shot over Hibbert. Roy is much more improved, having MMA training and working out with legenary center Bill Walton over the summer. I expect Hibbert to try to bring some revenge.
Thanks to Josh for giving us his insight on the Pacers, and make sure to listen to the audio below. It is the third hour of our live season preview show from last night, which includes a game preview from Pacers blogger Jared Wade.