The Indiana Pacers won seven straight games, and here are a few reasons why they did, including one reason why they can beat the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight.
The Indiana Pacers are on a seven-game winning streak, bouncing back from a three-game losing skid to play the best basketball they’ve played all season.
There are a number of reasons, but here are several of the biggest reasons why they are sitting five games over .500 and just a game out of moving up as high as fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The Indiana Pacers played the best defense in the NBA in the last seven games, posting a 98.1 defensive rating in that time. If you aren’t into advanced statistics, just know that means teams are more likely to come away scoreless against Indiana’s defense over the last seven games.
As C. Cooper of hated-rival Indy Cornrows pointed out, the big difference between this win streak and the five-game one earlier in the season is 3-point defense.
Perhaps more telling, though, is that their improved close outs are more effectively limiting how many looks opponents are getting from behind the arc.
Rather than green-lighting opponents to transform into high-volume shooters from distance, the Pacers are surrendering five fewer attempts per 100 possessions, which jumps them from 29th to 14th league-wide.
Indiana isn’t relying on opponents to miss shots, they are forcing them out of 3-pointers and into less efficient ones.
With Cleveland taking the second most 3-point attempts in the NBA this season, the Pacers need to continue this trend if they want to extend their streak.