NBA bettors backing Indiana Pacers knew they were in for a long & difficult season, but after only 4 games, things might be worse than imagined. They're the underdogs vs. the Wizards tonight.
The Indiana Pacers Will Win Because…
They are playing a Washington team that is without Brad Beal, a shooting guard who hit just over 40 percent of his three-point shots last season and scored an average of 17 points last season. Washington has been coping well with its adjusted lineup, but one has to think that the Wizards are going to run into problems the more they play without Beal. With point guard John Wall on the team, Beal was supposed to be the long-range shooter who spaced the floor and forced defenses to not devote too much attention to Wall himself. With Beal gone, the Pacers – still a good defensive team but a underdog of +400 on NBA odds– can hone in on Wall and clog the passing lanes to gum up the Wizards’ halfcourt offense. Indiana is in the top 10 in the league in scoring defense, allowing an average of under 97 points per game. If the Wizards don’t make good adjustments, Indiana’s defense is good enough to make the Wizards pay. Remember that Indiana’s defense wore down and frustrated the Wizards in the six-game Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series between the two teams last May. Indiana came back from a 17-point deficit against the Wizards to win Game 4 of that series in Washington, D.C. Indiana actually won all three road games against Washington in last spring’s playoff series. The Pacers are going to take the court believing they can smother the Wizards. This does not apply to other teams and matchups in the league, but it’s there in this case, and that’s something which needs to be constantly monitored.
The Washington Wizards Will Win Because…
They're going in the right direction, and the Indiana Pacers are not. The Pacers won their first game of the season over the Philadelphia 76ers but then lost their next three games. Indiana has failed to score over 92 points in each of its last three games. The low point for the Pacers came Tuesday night, when the team scored only 81 points at home in a dreary loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the second-worst team in the Association last season. Indiana is not adjusting well to the injury-based loss of Paul George and the transactional loss of Lance Stephenson, who landed in Charlotte with the Hornets this season. Indiana is realizing after just one week of regular season play that it will have to do a lot more than just fight harder. The Pacers need some structured solutions to their offense if they want to make the playoffs. They don’t appear to have that right now.
Washington, on the other hand, has traveled the exact opposite path of Indiana. Whereas the Pacers won their first game and then lost their next three, the Wizards lost their first game and then have won their last three games. Washington averaged over 100 points in those three games as well.
The Wizards don’t have Brad Beal, but that loss is not as severe as a team which does not have Paul George and Lance Stephenson. The Wizards have been waiting to play Indiana again at home. Washington should win this game big. Take them with your NBA picks.
Free NBA Pick: Washington at 5Dimes