Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4713 Indiana Pacers vs.
#4714 Golden State Warriors
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 10:30pm EST
Oracle Arena, Oakland
Written by Jordy

The Golden State Warriors hope to continue their meteoric rise from the dead in Tuesday’s head-to-head showdown with the visiting Indiana Pacers. It’s looking like old times in Golden State with Steph Curry setting the NBA world on fire. They are coming off back-to-back victories over the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers. However, even with the game scheduled for the Chase Center, the Warriors could face an uphill battle against a criminally underrated Pacers team coming off consecutive losses to Sacramento and Phoenix.

Pacers finally dangerous on offense

This is not the same Pacers team from a year ago.

Last year’s Pacers ranked among the worst teams in the league in scoring offense. Sure, they could lock things down on the defensive end of the floor, but that can only get a team so far in a scoring league. They simply looked lost when they ran into some of the more elite offensive teams.

That hasn’t been the case this season with the team ranking seventh in overall scoring offense. The biggest reason for the jump has been the continued evolution of Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.

Sabonis is averaging a double-double with 21.6 points and 12.6 rebounds per game. He isn’t the passive young player he was when he started in the NBA. No, the 24-year-old forward is developing into a versatile offensive powerhouse that serves as the spark for the entire team.

They’ll need him to continue to be aggressive at the rim in an effort to keep pace with a Warriors team that looks to be turning back the clock. Golden State might have figured out their offense to some degree, but their defense is still a mess. They are ranked 20th in the league in defensive efficiency with opponents averaging 116.6 points per game against them. It’ll be interesting to see what the Pacers look like when they’re back to full strength with guys like T.J. Warren and Jeremy Lamb back on the floor, but that won’t be the case on Tuesday.

One trouble spot is the Pacers ranking 27th in 3-point shooting defense. That should send up immediate red flags in a road meeting with the baby-faced assassin, Steph Curry, on the other side.

Guess who’s back? Curry’s back. Tell a friend

You don’t have to be a Golden State Warriors fan to appreciate greatness. Seeing Steph Curry return in all of his glory this season has been refreshing. It felt so weird last year going through a season without the Warriors even being relevant.

Curry and Draymond Green were in and out of the lineup with injuries, while Klay Thompson was still sidelined with a torn ACL. Make no mistake, this still isn’t a Warriors team operating at 100 percent. Thompson is still out, and rookie center James Wiseman is learning on the fly. But there are still moments when Curry pulls up from nearly half-court to knock down a 3-pointer and instantly jog our memories to how dangerous this team used to be. It’s also a reminder of how dangerous they still can be.

They’re clearly rolling right now with back-to-back wins over the Raptors and Clippers. Curry went ice cold from the floor against Toronto, but the team got a nice boost from a combined 28-point effort from Eric Paschall and Damion Lee off the bench.

They might need a similar effort if the offensive struggles linger against the Pacers.

Although Indiana has issues defending the perimeter, they are clearly still a good defensive team that ranks 13th in the league in efficiency. The difference is their ability to compete on offense as well. They are no longer a team that needs to shut opponents down defensively just to keep games within reach. Golden State needs to be prepared for the Pacers to take it to them at the rim. The team is averaging 56.1 percent in two-point shooting percentage. So the Warriors can ill-afford for another night of Curry going 2-of-16 from the floor for 11 points.

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It’s tough envisioning Curry having bad shooting performances in back-to-back nights. He couldn’t buy a bucket against the Raptors in a game where the Warriors showed real resilience in their ability to still come out with a win. Of course, that means he’ll be back to heaving up 3-pointers with pinpoint accuracy on Tuesday night.

The interior defense with both Wiseman and Green has been dominant for the Warriors. Opposing teams are only averaging 48 percent shooting against them from two-point range so far this season. The only team with a better defensive percentage from that range is the Philadelphia 76ers. So the Warriors are clearly going to make life difficult on Sabonis and company at the rim.

They aren’t an offense that thrives from long distance. The Warriors will do a good enough job to stifle them in the paint and force them to settle for low-percentage jumpers. There’s something about the 3-point shooting in Golden State that’s contagious. On cue, the Pacers will try to play copycat and fail miserably to keep up with Curry and company.

I’m laying the points and taking the Warriors.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors (-2)

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It’s like the Warriors looked into a mirror of the past and suddenly remembered who they are. No, they don’t have the necessary pieces to go compete for a championship, but the offense still has Curry and Andrew Wiggins. They also have an improving rookie in Wiseman, along with Paschall and Kelly Oubre Jr. Those pieces alone have the team averaging an impressive 115.7 points per game when they’re playing on their home floor. Indiana has struggled in defending the 3-pointer, and Curry can knock down long-distance shots in his sleep. Give me the over in this one.

Prediction: Over (228)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.