Indiana Pacers (23-27, 14-12 ) at Orlando Magic (17-34, 10-16)
- Time: 4 PST – 6 CST – 7 EST
- Place: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
- TV: Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Indiana, NBA League Pass
The Indiana Pacers have struggled lately with injuries although they have won two of their last three games and they possess the 9-seed in the East which would put them in the play-in scenario in the playoffs.
Indiana opens a string of five road games in their next six with the opener in Orlando on Friday evening. Indiana has won 23 of the last 28 games vs. the Magic since 2012-13 and have won 10 of the last 12 in the series on the road.
Orlando traded their Big Three of Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline, so a massive restructuring is underway as talented coach Steve Clifford should totally be given the opportunity to oversee the rebuild.
- Indiana – Malcolm Brodgon – (right hip) – Questionable – Domatas Sabonis – (left ankle) – Questionable – Myles Turner – (left ankles) – OUT TJ Warren – (right foot) – OUT
- Orlando – Markelle Fultz – (Torn ACL) – OUT – Otto Porter, Jr. – (left foot) – OUT – Jonathan Isaac – (Left knee) – OUT
Vs. The Spread:
Pacers (20-30 ATS)
- Indy checks in at 6-14 ATS in the last 20 games
- The OVER has been the play in 13 of the Pacers last 20 games
- The Pacers are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games vs. Orlando
Magic (26-24-1 ATS)
- The Magic is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games
- The OVER has been the play in 4 of the last 5 Magic games
- The total has gone OVER in the last 6 Pacers-Magic matchups
Last Time Out:
Indiana mounted an impressive 77 points in the first half as the Pacers outlasted the Minnesota T-Wolves, 141-137. Justin Holiday made four triples in the fourth quarter which helped Indiana stave off numerous Timberwolves’ pushes for the lead. Aaron Holiday had 22 points in 22 minutes while his brother Justin had 21.
Terrence Ross had 24 points and Mo Bamba had a career-high 19, but it wasn’t close to enough as the Magic lost to the Washington Wizards, 131-116. Orlando cut the lead to four in the fourth quarter, but could never quite make a key stop down the stretch for the win. Cole Anthony was back from injury with 13 points and even assists.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Indiana Pacers||-4½ (-112)||-184||O 222½ (-110)|
|Orlando Magic||+4½ (-108)||+164||U 222½ (-110)|
If Malcom Brogdon and Domatas Sabonis are back from injury and as of this morning, they are questionable, this could be an easy win for the Pacers as they are playing for not only a play-in position, but the potential to get a more solid playoff position. Brogdon is an underrated force as he leads Indiana with 21.9 points per game. He joins Aaron Holiday as the Pacers’ leading three-ballers while he gets into the lane and makes plays at the rim (49.2%-2). Sabonis has been out the last three games after struggling in the two before that. He averaged 22 points and 11.4 rebounds in the five games before his injury.
Key Pacers Stat:
Caris LeVert has averaged 21.4 points and 6.0 assists per game over his last three games as he has made 27-of-53 field goals. LeVert is getting in the mid-30s in minutes and has had a solid impact since his trade from Brooklyn.
Indiana has improved across the boards offensively this season and it can be traced to method of attack as this team is fourth in the league in fast break points (16.2), and fifth in points in the paint (52.6) and assists (26.8).
Clifford has so many new pieces that experimenting with line up combinations is a game-to-game endeavor. Chuma Okeke had made nine starts and the Auburn product has led Orlando in scoring three times and assists five times. He is has had double figures in six of his last eight games and has averaged 15 points per game in that time. Wendell Carter, Jr. came over from the Bulls in the Vucevic trade and his started three games and led or tied in scoring twice and rebounding four times.
Key Magic Stat:
With as much roster restructuring as Orlando has had, it is hard to gauge the chemistry and who fits where; however, this team is last in the NBA in field goal percentage (43.3%) and 29th in points scored (104.5 ppg). The return of assist men from injury in Cole Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams should help scorers like Okeke, Ross and Carter find better looks which should give Orlando more opportunities to compete.
Dwayne Bacon has started the Magic’s last seven games and has averaged 13.2 points in those seven. Bacon has taken on more of a role in all aspects of the team as his numbers have increased more this season than at any other time in his career (10.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg).
Winner: Pacers (-4½) 114, Magic 109