The Indiana Pacers have their restart schedule.
The official restart plan and schedule for the NBA has been released. Each of the 22 teams a part of the restart, which includes the Indiana Pacers, will compete in an eight-game schedule at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Unfortunately, the team will complete its season without Victor Oladipo, who is opting to sit out the Orlando restart and focus on his recovery to come back in full force for the 2020-21 season.
Indiana Pacers seeding games in Orlando, Disney World
- vs Philadelphia 76ers — 8/1; 7 p.m.
- vs Washington Wizards — 8/1; 4 p.m.
- vs Orlando Magic — 8/4; 6 p.m.
- vs Phoenix Suns — 8/6; 4 p.m.
- vs Los Angeles Lakers — 8/8; 6 p.m. (TNT)
- vs Miami Heat — 8/10; 8 p.m.
- vs Houston Rockets — 8/12; 4 p.m.
- vs Miami Heat — TBD
There are plenty of question marks around the NBA restart. The suspension of the season could not have come at a worse time for Victor Oladipo who was working to getting back to game shape.
Malcolm Brogdon has tested positive for COVID-19 but is asymptomatic and should have plenty of time to recover before the start of the season. Justin Holiday seems to be on the fence on whether he will participate in the Orlando restart.
Despite all the questions, the good news is the NBA will be back soon. Games will be played, and some sense of normalcy will be restored.
Here are some predictions on what to expect of the Pacers’ eight-game schedule.
Pacers restart predictions: Philadelphia 76ers
Having met three times this season, Indiana has a pair of wins over their first opponent of the NBA restart. Both of the Pacer wins came at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, not a surprise considering the 76ers are one of the worst road teams in the league. They are just 10-24 away from their home court despite a 39-26 overall record.
Combine the 76ers poor performance away from Philadelphia with the Pacers having a proven formula against them and this should be an important win to begin the restart.
Pacers restart predictions: Washington Wizards
The start of three consecutive games against sub-.500 opponents, Indiana and Washington have not played since November 6. The Pacers picked up a 121-106 victory on their home court in that contest. Seven Pacers scored in double figures led by 21 from T.J. Warren and double-doubles from Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis.
Washington will be without Davis Bertans who opted out of the NBA’s restart. Bertans puts in more than 15 points per game and is the team’s most accurate shooter.
That will leave Bradley Beal and his 30.5 points per game as the team’s only significant threat with John Wall still recovering from injury. Washington could struggle in their eight-game schedule.
Pacers restart predictions: Orlando Magic
In the closest thing to a home game any NBA team will have the rest of the season, Indiana has not played Orlando since late November. They played twice in two weeks with Indiana winning both by single digits.
Sabonis has transformed into an All-Star over the course of the season since the teams met.
Nikola Vucevic’s 19.5 points and 11 rebounds per game could make the backcourt matchups the difference in this game. If that’s the case, Brogdon and Warren should outplay Markelle Fultz, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon
Pacers restart predictions: Phoenix Suns
Indiana could easily be 4-0 to begin the restart. They recorded a 25-point victory over Phoenix in late January with Warren putting up 25 points against his former team.
The Suns allow more points than they score on average, a recipe for disaster when taking on a team as efficient on both ends of the floor as the Pacers are.
Phoenix has the ability to score at will on any given night but lacks consistency. After months without competitive games, the safe bet would be with the Pacers’ defense.
Pacers restart predictions: Los Angeles Lakers
One of the most entertaining games of the Pacers season came on December 17 when Indiana defeated the Lakers, 105-102, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
A near triple-double by LeBron James and 20 points for Dwight Howard was not enough for the best team in the league to that point to pick up the road win.
Despite the hiatus, any team that has James and Anthony Davis in the same jersey is going to be favored.
Indiana will be coming off a pretty easy stretch of games while the Lakers have just one opponent with a losing record and that won’t come until their final seeding game against the Sacramento Kings.
James will have his team ready to compete every night with the tough strength of schedule which won’t be good for the rest of the league.
Pacers restart predictions: Miami Heat
Two games in a week between T.J. Warren and Jimmy Butler could be exciting after the pair were involved in multiple altercations earlier this season.
Miami has two wins over Indiana this season, including a one-point victory on their home court back in late December.
Both teams have a strong defensive core and are in the top half of the league in points allowed. The Heat average nearly three more points per game and are a better long-range shooting team. The ability to knock down threes could be the difference in both matchups. Or Jimmy Butler could use his grudge with Indiana to single-handedly will the Heat to a pair of wins.
Pacers restart predictions: Houston Rockets
Another team the Pacers have not played since early in the season, the Rockets won their only matchup. Neither Myles Turner nor Oladipo played in the contest and James Harden went off for 44 points.
The best 3-point shooting team in the NBA, Houston knocks down more than five more three-balls per game than Indiana.
The Rockets can outscore any opponent on any given night, their offense is that good. Indiana has one of the best defenses in the NBA but stopping Harden and Russel Westbrook from scoring will not be easy.