Indiana at San Antonio
Time: 7:30 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: IND -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Indiana Pacers have won three straight games and travel to face the San Antonio Spurs as 2.5-point favorites in NBA action at 7:30 PM (CST) on NBA League Pass. The Pacers are 15-14 on the road this season, and San Antonio is a tepid 15-13 at home. The betting total for this matchup is stat 221.5 total points according to 5dimes NBA oddsmakers.
The San Antonio Spurs is just 25-33 on the season and currently is seeded No. 11 in the West, but trailing Memphis by just three games for the West’s final playoff spot.
Looking at the Spurs roster, it is understandable as to why: San Antonio is led by two high-scoring veterans, but this team’s defensive outlook is nowhere near as bright, and it lacks depth unless one is to overrate the talents in it and what they have done so far.
San Antonio is giving up 114.7 points per game while scoring 113.7 itself. It has a negative point differential, a sub .500 record, and still the rough outlines of what could be a postseason team even so. It is certainly too early to write them off, at least.
The Spurs are offensively led by the two veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Both post-PERs of 20-plus, but after that, the depth really thins out on this roster. Bryn Forbes has provided a boost with 11 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, but he is really playing right at “replacement level.” The same applies to Patty Mills, whose defense is partly to blame for teams tallying so many points on the Spurs. Rudy Gay is washed up, and Dejounte Murray has been decent but the Spurs were hoping for even more.
All of this comes together to spell a team that is almost lucky to have won one-third of its games thus far in 2019-20. Without a step-up in defensive intensity, it will not even win that many moving forward. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV were all billed as potential breakout players, but none of them have broken out really.
Murray averages 10 per game, White 10, and Walker tallies just 5.6 per night. The trio was expected to lead the Spurs after Tony Parker’s regime ended, but in the two seasons since Parker left the Spurs, none of it has come to fruition, and the team is sub .500 mostly due to a lack of depth, as its primary two veterans have continued to produce.
NDIANA news & notes:
The Indiana Pacers have won three straight and five of its last 10 overall. The pacers are seeded No. 6 in the East currently, trailing No. 5 Philadelphia by just 1/2 game.
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 had 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.