The NBA is set up with an action packed night of basketball throughout March 13. Eight games are up on the board throughout Saturday. One of these games will be between the Indiana Pacers and the Phoenix Suns. These two teams have had solid starts to this season and will look for a win in this one. This game will tip off at around 10:00 PM Eastern time.
The Pacers have opened up this season with a record of 16-20, which has them sitting in eleventh place of the Eastern Conference. Indiana is one game back from the playoff spot and two and a half games back from the sixth seed. The Pacers have lost back to back games and four of their last six. Indiana will look to get back on track in this one.
Phoenix has put up a record of 25-11 throughout this season, which has them sitting in second place of the Western Conference. The Suns are two games back from the top spot in the Conference, but a game and a half from falling to fourth. Phoenix has won five games in a row and fourteen of their last sixteen. The Suns will look to keep this hot streak going with a win in this one.
These two teams have put up very different records to this point in the season, but I expect both teams to try and come out hot in this one. The Pacers have struggled to get anything going as of late, but they will look to turn it around in this one. Indiana played last night and they will look to shake off the rust early in this matchup.
The Pacers and the Suns met up twice throughout last season. Phoenix hosted the first game on January 22. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 17 points, while Devin Booker added 16 points. It was not enough for the Suns though. T.J. Warren scored 25 points, while Domantas Sabonis finished with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Indiana was able to hold on for a 112-87 win on the road.
The second game of the season series was during the qualifiers on August 6. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 25 points, while Myles Turner scored 17 points. This time the Pacers came up short though. Deandre Ayton put up 23 points and 10 rebounds and Devin Booker added 20 points and 10 assists. The Suns were able to bounce back with a 114-99 win in this meeting.
The first game of this season’s series was in Indiana on January 9. Domantas Sabonis scored 28 points and 22 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon added 22 points, but it still was not enough for the Pacers. Mikal Bridges scored 34 points, while Devin Booker finished with 25 points. Cameron Johnson dropped 16 points off the bench to help lead Phoenix to a 125-117 win.
Phoenix has won the last two games against Indiana entering this game. The Pacers were able to dominate the first game of last season’s series, but have not gotten anything going against the Suns since. I expect both teams to try and get going in this one early as they try to grab an early edge. If either team can get the offense rolling quickly, it could help them get a win.
Field Goal Shooting
Indiana has been solid shooting the ball throughout this season so far. The Pacers have been making 47.3 percent of their shots from the field, which is 11th in the NBA. Indiana has shot 36.3 percent from deep this season, which is 17th in the league. The Pacers have also made 78.2 percent of their shots from the free throw line, which is 14th in the NBA.
The Suns have been dangerous shooting the ball throughout this season. Phoenix has drained 48.7 percent of their shots from the field, which is 4th in the league. The Suns are also shooting 38.3 percent from behind the arc, which is 9th in the NBA. Phoenix has made 83.4 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which is 2nd in the league.
Phoenix has been better shooting the ball this season and have been better on defense. The Suns have held their opponents to a 45.8 percent from the field, which is 9th in the NBA. Indiana has allowed opposing teams to make 46.9 percent of their shots, which is 20th in the league. The Pacers will need to step up on defense if they want to earn a win in this one.
Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis have both stepped up for the Pacers throughout this season. Brogdon is averaging 21 points and 6 assists per game. Sabonis has averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. Myles Turner is averaging 13.5 points, while Doug McDermott has averaged 13 points per game. Justin Holiday and Jeremy Lamb are both averaging around 11.5 points per game.
Devin Booker has helped lead Phoenix throughout this season. Booker has averaged 25 points per game. Chris Paul is averaging 16 points and 9 assists per game. Deandre Ayton has averaged 14.5 points and 11 rebounds, while Mikal Bridges is averaging 14 points per game. Dario Saric has averaged 11.5 points and Jae Crowder is averaging 10 points per game to round out the lineup.
These two teams have stepped up throughout this season up and down the lineup. Indiana is without T.J. Warren in this one, but they will get the debut of Caris LeVert. LeVert has been out after finding a mass in his kidney and will look to have a strong debut in this one. Phoenix is without Cameron Johnson, who was averaging 10.5 points. The Suns will look for their players to step up a bit for his absence.
The Pacers are coming off a tight loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last night and will look to get back on track in this one. Indiana will look to bounce back in this one. They will have a tough challenge though as they go against a red hot Suns team. If the Pacers can come out quickly in this one though, it could give them a win on Saturday night.
BetOnline has the Suns listed as a -6 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to Phoenix to earn the win. I think that the Suns are the better team entering this matchup, but I think that Indiana can keep it close. I like the value on the Pacers as underdogs in this one. I think that Indiana can keep this one close and potentially pull off the upset.