Milwaukee Bucks (34-29) at Indiana Pacers (36-27)
We won our third straight NBA game last night when we backed the New Orleans Pelicans on the road at Dallas. I said that we almost never see home teams get blown out in the NBA but if there ever were going to be one, it would be this one, and this is exactly what happened last night. The Pelicans dominated all night long and walked away with the easy 126-109 victory.
The Mavericks are quickly becoming a team that you are going to want to bet against every night. They are terrible and getting worse. They have now lost seventeen of their last twenty-one games. The NBA has a tanking problem, it is being addressed, but until they can figure it out, I have no choice but to bet against all the tanking teams and pick up the free cash.
Tonight, I will focus on two teams that badly want to win as the Indiana Pacers host the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Milwaukee Bucks will travel to Indiana to play the Pacers Monday night. The Bucks played last night against the Philadelphia 76ers and managed to come back from twenty points down to win the game 118-110.
The Pacers won last night as well 98-95 on the road against the Washington Wizards. The Pacers are -2.5-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 209.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
These two teams just played, less than a week ago in Milwaukee. The Pacers built up a big lead in that one and coasted to a 103-96 road win. It was a much-needed win for Indiana as they had lost back to back games to two very bad teams.
The Pacers picked up the big win and then went on the road last night and got another big win and all the sudden they look to be playing good basketball again. If the Pacers end up moving up to the three seed in the East, you may be able to look back at these two games against Milwaukee as the games that spurred a big run.
This Indiana team has been somewhat inconsistent this season. And that is understandable. This team is young, and they haven’t really been playing together all that long. But even with all the up and downs of the season, Indiana finds themselves right in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference. Right now, Indiana holds the four seed in the East, only a half a game behind Cleveland for the three seed, sounds great right?
Well, they are also just three games ahead of Miami for the eighth and final playoff spot in the eastern Conference. So, if the season ended today, it would look like a huge success for what was supposed to be a rebuilding team this year in Indy. But one bad week and they could slide all the way down to the eight hole, only to get swept out of the playoffs by Toronto or Boston.
The next three weeks could not be more important for Indiana, they can ill afford any slip-ups down the stretch. One of those teams trying to catch Indiana in the East? The Milwaukee Bucks.
Over the last couple of games, Milwaukee has played out the same script. Start slow, get down big, and then make a huge run late. They managed to do just that in their last game and came all the way back to beat Philly.
But against the Pacers a couple days before? They made a big run only to come up short at home. This team needs to figure out a way to have more consistent efforts. They are never going to be able to win in the playoffs if they start every game in a twenty-point hole.
I am a bit surprised at how low this number is. The Bucks are forced to play the back end of a back to back on the road. That is a really tough spot for any team. Couple that with the fact that they had to make a giant run in the second half that must have been physically and emotionally exhausting last night and you wonder why this number isn’t bigger. Oh, and yeah, they just lost to this team four days ago at home. And now they have to play them on the road.
This is just a bad number. Indiana should be -6 or -7 here. They proved they could beat this team on their home court a couple of days ago and now get the chance to beat them at home. They are forced to play back to backs as well, so I guess that is what kept this number manageable, but back to backs are so much easier at home than they are on the road. I really like the Pacers in this matchup.
I see this game playing out a lot like all the Milwaukee games have recently. They will come out flat and tired and get behind double-digits early. Then the Greek Freak will go insane and single handily get them back into the game, only to come up a bit short. I like Indiana to get ahead early and hold on late and take this one fairly easily. Give me the Indiana Pacers -2.5-points tonight at home.