Indiana Pacers (10-10)
Oklahoma City Thunder (16-4)
Can the Indiana Pacers put together enough defense to stop this historic run by the Oklahoma City Thunder’s offense? They are leading the league at 106 points per game on excellent shooting. That’s going to be where the Pacers have to get in the faces of the Thunder and make sure they’re not getting easy shots. If the Thunder have their way, they’ll try to make this a run and gun game. But the Pacers are great at half court defense and making the game a grind out, which is what they want to do.
The match up to watch is Kevin Durant and Paul George. Kevin Durant can score at all as evident by his 28 points a game. Paul George has come back around after two bad games, which included not scoring against Golden State. George has a couple of 30 point games in the past two weeks. He might that type of scoring to get the Pacers in this game. It might have to be like the Chicago game, where George practically carried the team as he made all kinds of shots. Kevin Durant has length and could present problems for Paul George. This will be a real test for Paul George to see how he can contain Durant.
George Hill will have his own hands full dealing with Russell Westbrook. The Pacers will have to help out on defense if guys like Westbrook beat their own men. Roy Hibbert could be huge as that man in the middle, who can stop an easy lay up. I look for David West to add some strength in the post as well.
This game could be interesting as I think it can be a close game thanks to the defense of the Pacers. Or it could be a blowout by the Thunder if they’re able to run out and score in bunches. The Pacers struggle to score at times, so this game has to stay low under 90 points. If that’s the case, the Pacers have a great shot at upsetting the Thunder in their own place. Now that would be a “signature” win for this Pacers team.