Time: 9:30 PM CST (NBA TV)
Spread: IND -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Indiana Pacers are hot. It is 29-16 on the season and in second place in the Central Division. The Pacers will visit the Golden State Warriors at Oracle, where Indiana is a 6-point favorite in the game, which has its over/under set at 216 total points, according to NBA oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
The Indiana Pacers have won seven 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 due to return soon. 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.
The Golden State Warriors are just 10-36 on the season and in the last place in the Pacific division. It is, thus far, the worst team in the entire Association, in fact. The Warriors have lost its last eight.
This is an unfamiliar territory from a team that had boasted four All-Stars a season ago. Out is Kevin Durant, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets, while the Warriors are also without sharpshooter Klay Thompson. D’Angelo Russell is a dynamite scorer, but the Warriors are also without Stephen Curry for a long period this season due to an injured wrist. Draymond Green is the only one of the Warriors top-4 players from a year ago to suit up at this point.
For as good as Russell has been, it has not been enough to carry the Dubs to victories. He is averaging 23.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, but he has had efficiency issues (evidenced by his 19.75 PER, which is good, but not outstanding really). The next on the list of active scorers though is rookie and second-round pick Eric Paschall. He has been impressive, almost like a more offensive (and of course less defensive), Draymond Green. Paschall is averaging 14.1 points, 4.5, and 1.8 assists per game.
Former Utah Jazz swingman Alec Burks should add some more scoring, but the Warriors’ issues have been mostly on the defensive end. Golden State scores just 105.3 per game. So, with a patched-up roster consisting of a lot of rookies, young talent, discarded reclamation projects (like Willie Cauley-Stein), the Warriors are simply not a team that stacks up to most of the other teams in the Association anymore.