Another regular season series sweep is on the horizon for the Brooklyn Nets. They are in good position to go 3-0 against the Pacers, who are shorthanded and could be on the mercy of a blistering offensive squad.
Catch this game tomorrow, Friday, at 7:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Indiana Pacers (29-32, 11-18 at home)
Projected starting five
- Malcolm Brogdon
- Edmond Sumner
- Caris LeVert
- JaKarr Sampson
- Oshae Brissett
The ninth-seeded Pacers snapped their three-game winning streak on Wednesday after getting manhandled by the Portland Trail Blazers, 133-112. It was a major struggle for the team’s 23rd-ranked defense yet again, and it’s the seventh time that Indy has allowed 130 or more points this season.
The loss derailed the Pacers’ chase for the eighth seed in the East (currently occupied by the Charlotte Hornets), a play-in spot would at least feel safer since it will take two tournament losses before getting eliminated.
Shooting-wise, the Pacers have been on both sides of the spectrum in their season series with the Nets. They have shot 39.1% and 51.2% in the first and second meetings, respectively, and they lost by more than two possessions each time.
All-Star Domantas Sabonis and rim protector Myles Turner will remain sidelined tomorrow, but there are plenty of decent scorers. Malcolm Brogdon (24.3 PPG) and Caris LeVert (21.8 PPG) are each scoring over 20 points per game in the past week, and three more players are averaging 14 or more PPG in that same stretch. That list includes unknown second-year forward Oshae Brissett, who’s at 16.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks.
The Pacers are 2-4 in their last six games ATS. Their games have gone over four times in that span.
ROAD TEAM: Brooklyn Nets (42-20, 17-13 on the road)
Projected starting five
- Kyrie Irving
- Landry Shamet
- Joe Harris
- Kevin Durant
- DeAndre Jordan / Jeff Green
After a hot-and-cold run last week, the Nets appear to be geared up for a strong regular season finish. They have now won three in a row, and recently moved past the Philadelphia 76ers for the East’s top spot.
Though James Harden is still out indefinitely, the rest of the Nets can be trusted to hold things down nicely. Kevin Durant, for one, has been back for two games from a minor hamstring injury and scored 33 and 17 points. He was mellow in the latter game against the Toronto Raptors, and it was still more than enough. He only took seven shots (made five) in 32 minutes of play and Brooklyn won, 116-103.
Tomorrow will be KD’s debut against the Pacers this season – lookout for a possible big night as he may try to make up for the missed opportunities.
One of the Nets’ active All-Star, Kyrie Irving, powered the team into in one of the previous wins over Indy. Last February 11, he tallied a game-high 35 points on a perfect 17-for-17 shooting from the charity striple, to go along eight assists.
The Nets are second in the league in points at 118.7 PPG and first in field goal shooting at 49.%. Their usually suspect defense, meanwhile, has limited opponents to under 40.5% shooting in two of their last three games.
The Nets are 7-2 in their last nine games ATS. Their games have gone over five times in that span.
The Nets (-9) have Durant and Irving on deck, and they are facing a mostly inexperienced group. Plus, the Pacers are weirdly terrible at home. Brooklyn should be able to cover the spread.
The Pacers are near the bottom in allowed points, and over on the other side are the high-powered Nets, who also have the tendency to let opponents score since they’re very capable of outscoring anyone. Go with the over 233.5.