NBA TV Betting Preview: Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers

Paul George ranks in the top-five of NBA scorers this year, and he is doing it as a 4-man.
Paul George ranks in the top-five of NBA scorers this year, and he is doing it as a 4-man.

Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers
Time: 6 PM CT (NBA TV)
Spread: GSW -6
Total: 216

Betting odds c/o Bovada

The Golden State Warriors are now 22-0. The Indiana Pacers will host Steph Curry and company, but the Dubs are 6-point favorites.

The game has a betting total at 216. Golden State is capable of putting big points on the board, and the pace at which it plays is what renders this over/under so high.

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The Warriors continue to prove itself not just on the basis of Curry, but also on the team’s unparalleled depth. Andre Iguodala was Finals MVP and he has followed that up by leading the NBA in three-point percentage up to this point.

Iguodala’s stats are somewhat humble with eight points, four rebounds and an assist per game. But do not underestimate his value and the importance of his defense and leadership. It has helped Harrison Barnes develop into a similarly modeled defensive stopper. Barnes himself has raised his scoring average to 13.4 points per game while averaging 1.12 blocks/steals per game.

Golden State has seven players above the league average of PER (15). Tops of this list is of course Curry, whose 32.4 points per game, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists translate to an unheard of 35.2 PER. It makes the rest of the Warriors appear to be far lesser than they are, at least on paper.

Draymond Green is the jack of all trades power forward that has enabled the Warriors to brand their style of small ball. The Former Michigan State Spartan is averaging 13.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game, and is a triple double threat on a nightly basis.

Teams know that slowing Draymond is the key to defeating this team, because Curry is going to get his.

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Even so, Green has found himself still feasting on defenses unable to counter his inside/outside approach and great facilitation for his teammates. Even backup center Festus Ezeii is crucial, allowing Andrew Bogut to play less minutes in a 5-spot time-share that has worked brilliantly thus far.

The Warriors are not a team with egos getting in the way, and the fact that it won 67-games without any bickering is impressive as the win total itself. If the Warriors remain united as a team, there is likely little to stop them from challenging the Bulls 72-win season. Perhaps only injuries could derail the Dubs at this point, and Steve Kerr and interim head coach Luke Walton are surely aware of that peril.

Even so, it is something that can hardly be prepared for and the thought is that if anyone other than Curry goes down, there is an ample replacement ready to step in for bigger minutes. Depth is a luxury in the NBA and the Warriors are graced with it in full.

Enough about Golden State, though. Can the Indiana Pacers challenge them on their homecourt? Indiana is 12-7 this season and recently fashioned its team to compete in this new era of small ball by moving 6’8” swingman Paul George to the power forward slot. It was a move George decried during the offseason but it has resulted in him having the best season in his career to date.

George is posting 27.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.84 blocks/steals per game while posting a PER of 26.2. Perhaps he always had this in him, but credit Larry Bird for realizing that this was the right move for George.

Coming off a serious career-threatening injury, few were sure if George could return to his former level of play, but he has done far more than that, surpassing his prowess as a scorer by testing less mobile players on the perimeter. It is a plan brilliantly executed, but do not forget this is a Pacers team modeled after the Warriors, and imitations seldom can challenge the real deal.

However, the Pacers are just 6-point favorites against a team with a win differential of over 15 points. That puts the Pacers in a position a number of Warriors’ opponents have not been in.

The Pacers are coming off back-to-back losses to Utah and Portland, after closing a West Coast road trip 2-2. Now back on its homecourt it is probably blood thirsty and lustful to knock off the NBA’s hottest team. Do not discount the possibility, even if the Warriors are well equipped to pummel indiana as they have the rest of the NBA thus far.

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