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 offenseThis 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 friendYou 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.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Pacers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 0 days’ rest.
- Pacers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games against a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Warriors are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 1 days’ rest.
- Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games.
- Warriors are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.