The Pacers (6-10) wrap up their three-game road trip this week with a stop in Charlotte to play the Hornets on Friday night.
The road has been rough with losses to the Knicks and Pistons on the Pacers crooked path to Charlotte that featured frustratingly futile fourth-quarter efforts which had coach Rick Carlisle questioning his team’s actual effort which should be considered harsh criticism for any pro.
We will see how those pros respond and if rookie Chris Duarte can return to provide some juice to a lineup that Carlisle has slowed down offensively. That approach combined with extended pressure by the opponents seems to be the first thing the Pacers need to alter in order to shake loose some buckets, let alone a win. Carlisle did say Duarte would be available, so hopefully that means he can also start and play his normal rotation minutes. However, any rotation minutes from the rook will help.
The Pacers dropped a rough one in Charlotte 123-122, to tip of the season, although a third quarter fade was the culprit that game. The teams seemed to shoot off in opposite directions from there over the first couple of weeks with the young Hornets getting impressive play from LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges to go along with vets Terry Rozier and local legend Gordon Hayward.
DraftKings Odds: - Hornets -1, O/U 216
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
When: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Kelan Martin, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner
Hornets: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, Mason Plumlee
IND: Chris Duarte - questionable (sore right shoulder), Isaiah Jackson - out (G League assignment), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)
CHA: James Bouknight - out (G League assignment), Kai Jones - out (G League assignment), JT Thor - out (G League assignment), P.J.. Washington - out (left elbow hyperextension)
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.