Simulations say we should be watching the Indiana Pacers crush the Phoenix Suns on Monday night.
If all was right in the world, the Indiana Pacers would be facing off with the Phoenix Suns for the second and final time this season on Monday night. Alas, all is not well at the moment, but we’re going to try to bring some normalcy to the life of being a Pacers fan by simulating the matchup.
It’s a bummer that games aren’t happening, as this would have been an exciting stretch of days for T.J. Warren and the Pacers. Warren had an intense upcoming matchup against Jimmy Butler that was literally circled on the calendar that should have happened this past weekend, and a chance to hit the Suns with yet another revenge game after trading him for nothing this offseason.
In their first matchup, Warren put up one of his best games of the year, scoring 25 points and limiting Devin Booker tremendously.
For this game, we utilized NBA Game Sim. You can use their website to simulate the matchup for yourself and see how things shake out. We did one simulation and ran with that.
Here’s how things came out.
Domantas Sabonis put up 28 points, 22 rebounds (8 offensive), 5 assists.
Myles Turner put up 22 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist.
Aaron Holiday scored 20 points with five of his seven 3-point attempts falling.
That’s 50 points, 28 rebounds, and 6 assists from the Pacers starting frontcourt, pretty incredible stuff!
The defense was the biggest difference-maker here. Only one Suns player got above 20 points (Devin Booker, 22 points) and three others got to double-digits (Deandre Ayton, Dario Saric, Elie Okobo). The Pacers held the suns to 20 percent shooting beyond the arc.
Given that Booker’s per game points average is 26.1, holding him below that (and having that be the high water mark for Phoenix) is impressive, and perhaps something that could only happen in a simulation… It actually holds water, though! The last time the Pacers and Suns faced off, Booker scored just 16 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. (not included in the simulation due to an injury) was the high man at 17.
In fact, this simulation parallels the previous matchup in many ways. Indiana won that game by a 25-point margin (112-87), a close cry to what the simulation totals here worked out to be.
Beyond this, Indiana dominated the boards and secured 26.9 percent of available offensive rebounds to Phoenix’s 16.3 percent, allowing for a multitude of second-chance points while simultaneously limiting fast break opportunities for Phoenix, which generally holds the Suns back. The Suns score 12.8 percent of their points in the fast break, ninth-most in the NBA.
Unfortunately, this isn’t real, just a simulation. It’s unclear when basketball might return or if it could be done for the season. Suffice it to say that we’re hungry for it, though!