The Brooklyn Nets hope to get back to .500 when they take on the Indiana Pacers this Saturday at home. The Pacers, meanwhile, just want to get their second win to spark a positive trend.
Catch this game live on Saturday, October 30, at 7:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Indiana Pacers (1-4/0-3 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: T.J. McConnell
- SG: Chris Duarte
- SF: Justin Holiday
- PF: Domantas Sabonis
- C: Myles Turner
Just when it looked like the Pacers have started to turn things around with a 102-91 overtime home win over the Miami Heat on Oct. 24, they followed up that big win with two straight losses to the Milwaukee Bucks (119-108)) at home and to the Toronto Raptors (118-100) in Canada. Indiana is hoping it will win its first game back on US soil, but if the Pacers are to hit that goal, they will have to do so without their leading scorer, Malcolm Brodgon, who’s churning out 23.4 points per game. Brogdon suffered a hamstring injury in the Toronto game and will be sidelined for at least one contest.
Brogdon’s absence will open the door for T.J. McConnell, but it’s Domantas Sabonis and rookie Chris Duarte, who will mostly cover for the temporary void left by Brogdon. There’s also a chance that Caris LeVert will finally make his season debut, who’s currently questionable with a back issue. Indiana’s tandem of Sabonis and Myles Turner could have a field day against Brooklyn, which doesn’t seem to have the bulk to take on those two down low. The Pacers also project to win the rebounding battle this Saturday morning. Indiana is 11th in the NBA with a 50.9 REB% while the Nets are third-worst with a mere 47.1 REB%.
Home: Brooklyn Nets (2-3/1-2 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: James Harden
- SG: Joe Harris
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Kevin Durant
- C: Blake Griffin
Somewhere out there, Kyrie Irving’s smile just got bigger after the Nets lost to the Miami Heat last Thursday at home, 106-93. It’s been a disappointing start for Brooklyn, even without Irving factoring into their 2-3 record after five games. Although Kevin Durant is still the walking bucket-getter, who’s averaging 29.8 points on 54.8 FG%, James Harden is far from his usual form. So far this season, Harden is averaging just 16.6 points on a poor 35.9 FG%. Can he get it together against Indiana?
Harden shot 4-of-12 for 14 points against Miami and also turned the ball four times. Regardless of his salty offense, Harden’s going to attract attention just as much as Durant. The Nets can go from there against Indiana that will be without one of their top defenders in Brogdon. McConnell doesn’t stand a chance in stopping Harden, while Durant can take either Sabonis and Turner to school. And it’s not like the Pacers are an elite defensive team. They are actually among the worst with an adjusted defensive rating of 110.4 and a scoring defense that allows 117.2 points per game.
Not having Brogdon will hurt Indiana’s offense and defense. But Sabonis and Turner will compensate for that with their rebounding and inside scoring against a thin Brooklyn frontcourt. Take the Pacers to cover (+9.0).
The Pacers have hit 100 points in all their games so far this season, but with Brogdon sidelined plus the fact that Indiana is bound to get plenty of second chances in this game (Brooklyn is worst in the NBA in terms of ORB%), it appears that the Under is the wiser pick. Take the Under (224.0).