The Pacers took advantage of the Sixers sitting Joel Embiid on New Year’s Eve afternoon, rolling to a 115-97 when in front of a full Fieldhouse. Among all of the good cheer that sent fans out in a celebratory mood, there was some bad news with Malcolm Brogdon failing to make it through the first quarter before back spasms sat him down for good.
Brogdon is listed as doubtful to play against the Nuggets on Thursday night which will likely switch to ‘out’ before tip time. The backcourt rotation will be thin with reserve Edmond Sumner in the same situation as Brogdon after tweaking his sore knee against Philly.
For the Nuggets, local legend Garry Harris is questionable after missing the past two games with a shin contusion.
While the backcourts are banged up, this game will be decided by the bigs as the Pacers in general and Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner in particular, try to neutralize the impact of Nikola Jokic. The talented huge man for the Nuggets has been a problem for the Pacers in the past.
The Pacers destroyed the Nuggets in their last meeting, late in season last year, 124-88. But prior to that win, the Pacers were just 2-5 against the Nuggets since Jokic arrived in Denver with the two wins earned in OT. Denver plays big with Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee rotating in around Jokic.
The Pacers are 15-3 at home and the Nuggets will certainly test that home court advantage. On the plus side, the Nuggets will be playing their second game on a five game road trip which had them spending New Year’s Eve in Houston. The lingering side effects should favor the Pacers much like the three nights Philly spent in Miami before arriving in Indy.
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