The Brooklyn Nets and Indiana Pacers will meet up on Sunday night in Indianapolis, and both teams still have plenty to play for. The Pacers are trying to get into the top four in the Eastern Conference and get home-court advantage for the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Brooklyn is currently in the 6th spot in the East, but they need to keep winning games to clinch a playoff berth.
Indiana has been struggling of late, and it is going to cost them come playoff time. The Pacers have gone just 2-4 in their last six games, including two losses on their home court. Brooklyn got a monster win on Saturday afternoon over the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks, but they still have plenty of work to do. The Indiana Pacers are -5.0 over the Brooklyn Nets in this game.
Russell Carrying Nets of Late
D’Angelo Russell had a miserable start to his NBA career in Los Angeles, but it appears that he has found a permanent home in Brooklyn. Russell leads the team with 21.1 points and 6.9 assists per game this season and was a star in the win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Backup point guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been terrific off the bench for the Nets, pouring in 17.1 points per game. These two players set the tone for the surprising Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets have actually been outscored this season, which is unusual for a playoff team. Brooklyn is averaging 112.0 points per game while giving up 112.6 points per night. Brooklyn is shooting just 35 percent from the three-point line this season which is below league average in today’s NBA game. Brooklyn will have to play a terrific game to beat the Pacers in this one.
Pacers Need To Score More Points
If the Indiana Pacers are going to make a deep playoff run, then they are going to have to start scoring more points on the offensive end. The Pacers are playing without leading scorer Victor Oladipo, who was averaging 18.8 points before his season-ending injury. Indiana is averaging just 107.8 points per game, which is in the bottom third of all teams in the NBA. The Pacers do shoot over 37 percent from the three-point line, but they don’t take a ton of shots from deep.
The one thing that the Pacers do extremely well is play defense. Indiana is holding teams to just 104.3 points per game which is the best mark in the entire league. Center Myles Turner is a big reason for this number, leading the NBA with 2.7 blocks per game. Plenty of teams have struggled to find offense when playing the Pacers, and this will be a test for the Nets.
Pacers Take Care of Business
This will be an extremely important game for both teams, and it should be an intense battle throughout. Brooklyn will do all they can to speed up the tempo in this game, but that is easier said than done against the Pacers. Indiana has been terrific at home this season, and they will find a way to hold off the pesky Nets. Bet the Indiana Pacers -5.0 over the Brooklyn Nets in this game.