The Pacers (17-31) are back home for one game against the Hornets (26-22) on Wednesday night before leaving again for a road back-to-back in OKC and Dallas on Friday and Saturday.
Catching the Hornets, whether at home or on the road, has been a problem for the Pacers this season. Fortunately, this is the last meeting between the two teams after Charlotte won two competitive games in Charlotte and then won the last meeting at the Fieldhouse 116-108.
Since the opening night meltdown by the Pacers, these teams have taken divergent paths this season with the Hornets managing injuries and health and safety protocols to continue playing winning basketball fueled by a talented young core. Gordon Hayward is not considered a young core piece but has impacted winning for the Hornets, but he was moved from questionable for an ankle to out after entering the COVID health and safety protocol.
Caris LeVert remains ready to go, but Domas Sabonis (ankle) is not expected back which means continued heavy doses of Goga Bitadze who has been up and down throughout his first stretch of real minutes in a lonnng time. That inconsistency can both be explained by the lack of opportunity and also used as a reason for the minimal opportunities when roster health is not an issue.
Regardless, Goga and Isaiah Jackson should have plenty of chances to shine in this one and if they do so, can help put the Pacers in position to win. The over at 228 points may seem high but the first two game crushed that number while the third game was close. So, bet responsibly but expect plenty of buckets at the Fieldhouse for this one.
DraftKings Odds: Hornets -2, O/U 228 (latest DraftKings odds here)
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
When: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Caris LeVert, Chris Duarte, Justin Holiday, Torrey Craig, Goga Bitadze
Hornets: LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Cody Martin, Miles Bridges, Mason Plumlee
IND: 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)
CHA: Gordon Hayward - out (health and safety/right foot discomfort), Jalen McDaniels - out (sprained left ankle)
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.