Milwaukee Bucks (11-45) at Indiana Pacers (43-13)
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Tip: 7:00 p.m. EST
TV: Check local listings
Line: IND -15.0
The Indiana Pacers challenged the Milwaukee Bucks last Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Wisconsin and came away victors with a 110-100 final score.
Tonight, Indiana hosts the same Milwaukee team it beat last week, but Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said the Bucks are playing their best basketball of the season right now.
Milwaukee is the worst team in the NBA and also a Central Division foe. They are an inexperienced, albeit talented, group that can do some things very well. The wins just have not been there this season — at all.
Starting guard Brandon Knight is their biggest scoring threat, and he put up 30 points on Saturday against Indiana. The Pacers will look to slow him down tonight. Indiana countered Knight’s effort with some high scoring of their own from a couple guys.
Paul George and David West both eclipsed the 30-point mark in last Saturday’s win, while Lance Stephenson added 24 of his own and nearly recorded his fifth triple-double of the season. Vogel wants to see that same intensity tonight from his players.
Playing at home certainly makes a difference, as the Indiana Pacers blasted Milwaukee earlier this season by a score of 104-77. The Vegas line for tonight’s contest isn’t of that margin, but Indiana acting as the favorites to win by 15 shouldn’t be too far off.
Expect George and Stephenson to have similar stat lines as they did a few days ago against the Bucks. Milwaukee simply has no answer for either of them, nor for West or Roy Hibbert.
I am most interested in seeing how recently-acquired guard/forward Evan Turner follows up his 13-point effort Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers. It was Turner’s first game in an Indiana Pacers uniform after arriving in Indy via trade. He immediately consumed all the reserve wing minutes for the Pacers.
No game is ever “easy,” but expect Indiana to break this one open at some point. Pacers win 112-94.