The Pacers (23-45) play the first of two road games starting with their annual visit to San Antonio to take on the Hawks (32-34).
Atlanta enters the game 4-4 since the All-Star Break and 3-3 in March, with the 9th and 26th ranked offense and defense over that time span respectively (Per Cleaning the Glass). Trae Young is averaging a blistering 27 points per game on good efficiency (58.4% True-shooting), while propelling Atlanta’s offense, as Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari, and De’Andre Hunter have all put together hot scoring stretches as secondary options alongside Young.
The Pacers haven’t beaten Atlanta this season, including a 21 point beatdown on February 8th.
However, the Pacers enter with their own offense ranked 11th in March, blitzing opposition to the tune of 3 straight games scoring 119 or more points, averaging the third most points in the NBA over that span.
The 1-2 record across those 3 games points the finger right at the reason for pessimism of a Pacers victory; ranking 25th in defensive rating and allowing the 3rd most points in the paint is a recipe for disaster against uhhh..... anyone who can routinely generate paint touches can carve the team up by forcing help
Young averages 27 points per game (above his career average) against the Pacers and I would expect him to eclipse that tonight given where both teams are trending. But, if the Pacers’ offense can flow like it’s shown capable of doing in recent weeks, they seem much more ripe to upset the Hawks than in games prior.
The likelihood of the defense finding any sort of footing is what has the Pacers as 12 point underdogs, according to DraftKings.
DraftKings Odds: Hawks -12, O/U 237 (latest DraftKings odds here)
When: 7:00 p.m. ET
When: State Farm Area, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bally Sports Indiana
Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, Chris Duarte, Oshae Brissett, Isaiah Jackson
Hawks: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Danilo Gallinari, Clint Capella
IND: Goga Bitadze - questionable (sore right foot), Chris Duarte - questionable (sore left toe), Lance Stephenson - questionable (sprained left ankle), Malcolm Brogdon - out (concussion), T.J. McConnell - out (right wrist ligament surgery), Ricky Rubio - out (torn left ACL), Myles Turner - out (left foot stress reaction), T.J. Warren – out (left navicular fracture)
ATL: John Collins - out (right ring finger sprain/right foot sprain), Jalen Johnson - out (G League assignment)
Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.
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