We head to Brooklyn today to see how the Indiana Pacers will pull off the minor upset and beat the semi-hot Nets. Read here to see how Indiana will win this game and add them to your NBA picks.
Like a few other teams, Indiana and Brooklyn are trying to make a final push to make the playoffs. After a brutal losing streak earlier in the month Indiana has bounced back a little winning two of their last three while the Nets have won their last three. More impressively though Brooklyn has won seven of their last ten games and look poised to grab the final spot in the Eastern Conference. The NBA odds makers have come out making Brooklyn the natural favorite at -3. I find this line rather interesting as the Nets just beat the Pacers by double digits in Indiana about ten days ago, even with Young out it feels a bit low.
Since the All Star break both the Pacers and Nets have been playing pretty good basketball overall. Brooklyn has shot 45.6% from the field and the Pacers are at 44.8% in this time frame, not a big difference. The big difference comes from beyond the arc. Since the break Brooklyn has shot only 33.2% from distance (ranked in the bottom half of the league), Indiana though has been stellar shooting at a 37.4% clip which is ranked sixth in the league. On the year defensively Indiana has been much better overall allowing opponents to shoot 43.6% from the field, good for fifth ranked in the league. Only two teams in the top ten in defensive field goal percentage have losing records (Indiana at 5th and Charlotte at 9th), that tells me a lot about where Indiana has their focus on this year, which is also not surprising being that they lost their best player in George. Brooklyn on the other hand has been ranked in the bottom half of the league this season allowing 45.2% from the field, this surprises me in a Hollins coached team. From beyond the arc Indiana has been better defensively as well allowing 34.8% compared to Brooklyn’s 35.1% on the season, not a big difference. Digging more… Indiana is ranked third in the league this year in assists allowed at 20 per game compared to Brooklyn ranked 23rd in the league at 23.4 per game, the Pacers know how to defend the perimeter and limit ball movement.
Brooklyn has picked up their defense the past three games allowing only 43.7% from the field. Indiana on the other hand has been worse in that same time frame. Fortunately though I think the Pacers match up well with Brooklyn and should play much better having faced and lost to them just over a week ago. Offensively both teams have shot decently their past three games at just below 46% from the field. The big difference is Indiana has been lights out beyond the arc at 45.2% which is ranked 2nd in the league during this past week.
I like the way Indiana has been playing recently and I think this game is more of a tossup than the line indicates. It always gets my NBA Picks radar when a line looks smaller than it should, and I think we have a situation here where the NBA odds makers have made this line looking for Brooklyn money, but in reality the Pacers have a great chance to come in and pull out the win.
NBA Pick: Indiana +116 at Pinnacle