Dallas at Indiana
Time: 6 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: IND -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Indiana Pacers have Victor Oladipo back in tow after being without its superstar a full calendar year. Indiana is 31-18 and has won seven of its last 10 games SU. It hosts the visiting Dallas Mavericks as 6-point favorites at 6 PM (CST) on NBA League Pass. The over/under for the game is set at 213.5 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
INDIANA news & notes:
The Indiana Pacers have won eight of its last 10 overall and are seeded No. 5 in the East, just one game behind No. 4 Boston and 1.5 games behind No. 3 Toronto, 2.5 games behind No. 2 Miami. The Pacers could climb with Victor Oladipo having returned and already in strong form. It defeated the Phoenix Suns 112-87 last outing while getting 49 points from its starting forwards Domantas Sabonis and TJ Warren. Malcolm Brogdon played just 16 minutes, scoring five, but the Pacers bench produced three double-digit scorers, including Doug McDermott’s 12 points on 5 of 8 shooting. The Pacers have strong depth and are a real threat to contend in the East when Oladipo returns. Indiana is 12-11 SU on the road this season.
Without Oladipo, the scoring load has been arbored by Warren, Sabonis, and Brogdon. Warren leads the team at 18 points per game, while Sabonis is at 17.9 and Brogdon tallies 17.1 per game. The Pacers, though, have seven players averaging 10 points per game or more, including all five starters currently. Adding a top-end talent like Oladipo to this strong pack of role players should indeed make for a team capable of challenging the East’s best.
Sabonis has emerged as a major threat this season in averaging 17.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Jeremy Lamb has started all 34 games he has appeared in while averaging 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. The Pacers should have a strong three-guard rotation with Lamb, Brogdon, and Oladipo—when the three are all healthy together at last. Sabonis also seems to complement Myles Turner well. The two share time at center and function well as a pair when used in bigger lineups. Everything seems in-balance with the Pacers.
DALLAS news & notes:
The Dallas Mavericks have won six of its last 10 overall SU and four of its last five overall.
Luka Doncic has gone atomic since returning from injury, but it came with the nasty fact that the other star, Kristaps Porzingis, is now out with right knee soreness.
With Doncic out, the Mavericks got a good look at Kristaps Porzingis, who turned in another strong game in the Mavs’ loss to Boston. He tallied 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal but is out for an indefinite period now. It has been hard to keep its core healthy. Porzingis is slated to return tonight.
Doncic had 35 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the 120-112 win over Portland. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 points and five made triples.
On the season Porzingis is averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, but all suggestions are that he was able to greatly increase his usage percentage with Doncic unavailable. The Mavericks need to get another guy to step up, because Doncic left a 29.3 point, 8.9 assist hole when he sprained his ankle. While he is expected to make a full recovery and is already back in triple-double form (!), the Mavs are still in overhaul replacing his production. Although the Doncic-Porzingis punch is a strong one, the Mavericks still seem to be lacking a “third star” to complete the picture.