Denver Nuggets (24-25) at Indiana Pacers (39-11)
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Tip: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Check local listings
Line: IND -11.0
The Indiana Pacers are coming off likely their worst loss of the season on Sunday evening to the Orlando Magic. Tonight, Indiana hosts the Denver Nuggets in the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.
On Sunday in Orlando, the Pacers held a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter and it looked as though they were on their way to a blowout win over the Magic. However, the reserves entered the game, lost the lead and fell into a seven-point hole.
When the starters were inserted back into the contest in the fourth quarter, they didn’t have enough fight in them to rally for the win, eventually losing 92-93.
However, home is where the heart is for the Indiana Pacers.
The Denver Nuggets come into town one game below the .500 mark on the season. New head coach, and former Indiana Pacers associate head coach, Brian Shaw runs an up-tempo offense that can put up points in a hurry. However, the defense is slacking in about every major category.
Thus, it will be important for Indiana to jump out to an early lead – something the Pacers have not done often in 2014. Getting ahead early is key to maintaining their defensive intensity.
Tonight is also a chance for a rematch for the Indiana Pacers. They lost to the Nuggets in Denver earlier this season and are looking to return that favor tonight.
On Sunday against the Magic, Pacers star Paul George may have regained his shooting touch, going 10-19 en route to a game-high 27 points. That could be a confidence-booster for George, who had been in a slump for about seven games.
Look for the Pacers to feed George and David West to get them going. I also hope Lance Stephenson pushes the ball in transition, forcing Denver onto their heels. Indiana rebounds from a bad loss and beats the Nuggets 107-99.