In today’s Eastern Conference match-up, we will see Indiana Pacers hosting Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis.
Indiana Pacers are coming into tonight’s match with a 5 game winning streak behind them, which is a nice change of pace after the 3 game losing streak they were on prior to the winning streak. In the past 5 games Timberwolves (103:109), Kings (115:111)(OT), Rockets (120:101), Magic (88:98) and Nets (97:106) were all defeated by Indiana. With that, they are currently in 6th position in the East with a record of 27-22 (0.551). When we are talking about Indiana performance, we mustn’t look pass their home record. With 18 wins in the past 24 matches, it’s more than clear they are a strong team at the home ground, actually they are ranked no. 3 in the West in that aspect. Looking back at the match against Nets, a win for Indiana was expected. At least in my eyes. First quarter ended with a 11 point lead for the away side, which was reduced to 10 by Nets, before heading into the locker rooms. In 3rd quarter we could see Nets outscoring Pacers by 4 (28:24), which might seem as a problem as they were slowly closing in on Pacers. Nevertheless, Pacers once again outperformed Nets in the last quarter (23:26), thus securing their 5th win in the row. Statistics: Nets shot with 37.2% accuracy, with 19 turnovers and 7 steals. Indiana shot woth 43% accuracy, with 14 turnovers and 11 steals. Top scorers of the match: Teague (24pts), George (24pts) and Lopez (23pts).
Today’s visitors are Detroit Pistons, who will seek revenge for losing their previous encounter with Indiana on 4th of January 2017 (116:121). As for Pistons form, they are currently on a 2 game winning streak. They were able to defeat NO Pelicans (118:98) and Timberwolves (116:108). Prior to that, Detroit suffered from 3 consecutive defeats; loosing against Kings (104:109), Heat (116:103) and Celtics (113:109). All in all, Detroit Pistons are currently ranked 9th in the East with a record of 23-27 (0.460). The match against Minnesota Timberwolves started great for Detroit, as they were leading by 6 points before heading into 2nd quarter. That lead was almost lost in the next quarter, with Timberwolves outscoring Detroit by 5 points (29:34). With only 1 point margin between the teams, the following 2 quarters were crucial for both of the teams. Pistons ended the 3rd quarter in the same fashion as they ended the 1st, with 6 points added to their lead (30:24). Last quarter did not offer any turn of events, as it ended with 33:32. The margin of 7 points was in the end too much for Timberwolves to come back from and with that they lost their 2nd game in a row. Statistics: Pistons shot with 44.9% accuracy, had 10 turnovers and 7 steals, on the other side, Timberwolves shot better, with 49.4% accuracy and had 13 turnovers and 5 steals to their name. Top scorers of the match: Morris Marc. (36pts), Towns (24pts), Leuer (24pts).
Verdict & Prediction
Form wise, Indiana is in a better position than Detroit, with 5 consecutive wins compared to 2 wins of Detroit. The major factor in this game will be home ground advantage. Indiana has shown several times before that they are capable to win at home, even against top teams in the league. On the other side, Detroit has not been performing exceptionally well in away games, with only 1 win to their name in the past 6 games played on the road. The only downside for Indiana is the absence of Stuckey, with Christmas and Young appearance still questionable. Nevertheless, Indiana has done it before and will do it again, and that is defeat Pistons in tonight’s match.
Prediction: Indiana Pacers -3.5
Odds: 1.90 Pinnacle