NBA Friday is getting hot and heavy as the season nears its end. In this matchup, the Brooklyn Nets travel Bankers Life Fieldhouse to face the formidable Indiana Pacers. See who we are backing with our NBA picks in this highly contested matchup.
Tip-off is set for Friday, 7:00 p.m. ET in Indianapolis, Indiana, and this game can be seen on the YES Channel.
NBA odds makers have listed Indiana as a 5.5 point betting favorite, and for good reason. They’re 3rd in the Eastern Conference standings, and they are sporting a 30-9 record at home. The total for this game is 187.
Battle of the Boards
You have the top rebounding team in the NBA, in Indiana, as they face the hottest rebounder since Dennis Rodman in Reggie Evans.
The Pacers are strong up front with Paul George (7.7 rpg), David West (7.7 rpg) and big Roy Hibbert (8.3 rpg, 2.61 bpg). This could prove to be tough for a soft center like Brook Lopez and ferocious rebounder like Reggie Evans.
Reggie Evans and his 11 rebounds per game have cemented themselves in the Nets lineup.
In his last 10 games, Evans is averaging 17.3 rebounds per game, and he has become the main defensive weapon for his squad. He’s gaining confidence with his offensive game and this is the type of player that can give a team a 20 point, 20 rebound game. Expect Evans to shoot a bit more and stand guard under the glass against the rebound-happy Pacers.
As for Brook Lopez, he’ll be content to shoot from around 10 feet away from the basket. Indiana defenders will be crowding the basket and this can affect Lopez. In his last 2 games, he’s averaging 25 points on 21 of 35 shooting from the field.
George X 2
This isn’t mathematics, but with the Pacers, the Nets will get a full dose of George Hill and Paul George. Hill isn’t known for his offense, but has upped his game to 15.3 points per game in April. He also plays well against the Nets, averaging 17.5 points per game for his career. Hill has been hot as of late and expect him to be a factor in this game.
When the Pacers need a bucket, they call upon Paul George. For most of the season, Paul George was putting up 20 plus points every game, but he’s really stuck in a slump and picked a poor time to do so.
George is averaging just 8 points per game in his last 3 outings. In these games, he’s shooting a pathetic 7 for 31 from the field. Indiana needs Paul George to snap out of it. Without his offense, they will go nowhere in the post-season. Tonight is a tough matchup. We could see George Hill and David West take the lead role with Paul George being unable to find the basket.
Head to Head Trends
Nets are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings
Over is 12-3-1 in the last 16 meetings in Indiana
Underdog is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings
Although the Pacers are a tough team to beat at home and the better team overall, I don’t feel confident about them unless Paul George plays well. Look for Reggie Evans and Deron Williams to have their way and cover the spread.
NBA Picks: Brooklyn +5.5 at 5 Dimes