The Pacers (17-30) are headed home but will complete their road trip in New Orleans on Monday night when they face the Pelicans (17-28) at the Smoothie King Center.
The Pacers will be without Malcolm Brogdon who the team shut down for another week or so to work on his balky Achilles. The team will be with Lance Stephenson who signed another 10-day contract with the team in the Big Easy after another solid showing in Phoenix on Saturday. Caris LeVert remains questionable with a stained right calf.
As for the Pelicans, they are treading on the same path this season as the Pacers since Zion Williamson has been on ice all year. Both teams have 17 wins, but while the West is top heavy, the Pels remain in better shape to make the play-in game than the Pacers. But with Brandon Ingram out, the Pels have a very similar roster, from an experience and fan awareness point of view, as the Pacers. Jonas Valanciunas is well known, Herb Jones, not so much.
The Pacers won the first meeting on Nov. 20 at the Fieldhouse, 111-94. The Pacers pushed a 12-point halftime lead to 32 at the end of the third quarter, before giving back 15 in a garbage time fourth quarter. Thirteen Pacers players played and 12 scored. So much good health it seems like a season or two ago.
Hopefully, the Pacers can avoid the lack of focus that can seep in on the last game of a long road trip. Considering that most of the players in the rotation will be trying to take advantage of real live NBA minutes, that shouldn’t be a problem.
DraftKings Odds: Pelicans -3.5, O/U 216 (latest DraftKings odds here)
When: 8:00 p.m. ET
When: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Keifer Sykes, Chris Duarte, Justin Holiday, Torrey Craig, Goga Bitadze
Pelicansns: Devonte Graham, Josh Hart, Nickell Alexander-Walker, Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas
IND: Caris LeVert - questionable (sore right calf), Malcolm Brogdon - out (sore right Achilles), T.J. McConnell - out (health and safety protocols), Domantas Sabonis - out (left ankle sprain), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)
NOP: Devonte’ Graham - questionable (sore left ankle), Brandon Ingram - out (sprained right ankle), Kira Lewis Jr. - out (right knee ACL/MCL sprain), Didi Louzada - out (G League assignment), Naji Marshall - out (G League assignment), Trey Murphy III - out (G League assignment), Zion Williamson - out (right foot fracture)
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.