Indiana Pacers vs. Phoenix Suns Prediction, Preview, and Odds
Once Upon A Time In Las Vegas – Divisional Round
This article was written Prior to the Indiana v Denver game.
The Phoenix Suns (23-23 ATS) will play host to the Indiana Pacers (26-20). The Pacers woes have continued as they have now dropped five straight, most recently against the Thunder. The Pacers won the rebound battle 48-42 and had 20 offensive rebounds. It was noticeable the Pacers were without Tyrese Haliburton as Indiana had 24 turnovers. Andrew Nembhard led the Pacers in scoring with 18 points. Isaiah Jackson came off the bench and tallied 11 points and seven rebounds. The Suns ended their three game losing streak, beating Brooklyn at home. Phoenix won the rebound battle 49-34 and held Brooklyn to two offensive rebounds. Phoenix had just five fast break points. Mikal Bridges led the Suns in scoring with 28 points and Deandre Ayton had a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Let’s dive in.
Pacer’s drop 5 straight
Indiana had been on a nice streak to start the year, but haven’t won a game since January 8th. The contest against the Thunder was largely one sided as Indiana found themselves trailing by 14 at the half. Buddy Hield had been averaging 18 points per game, but was limited to just three points against OKC. Indiana was good down low and finished with 10 blocks. The ball handling was inconsistent and Indiana finished with 24 turnovers, but held the Thunder to six points in transition. Six Pacers finished with double figures.
On the Indiana season is scoring 115.3 points per game and over their last five that numbers has ticked down a bit to 112.2. The Pacers are shooting 45.9% from the floor and have continued to rely on the 3-ball as they are taking just under 39 attempts per game from distance, 6th in the league. Of those shots the Pacers have been knocking down 36.5% of their tries, which is right on par with the league average. The Pacers continue to be very good in transition as they rank first in the NBA in fast break points per game with 18.9 per contest. This has been aided by their ability to come away with nearly eight steals per game. On the Indiana interior has been somewhat average scoring in the paint, averaging just over 48 points per contest. Nearly helped the shots the Pacers take are coming from distance and that has also inhibited their inside scoring as they simply don’t work the ball in the paint frequently. While the transition game has been good, turnovers have been a problem for the Pacers. They are bottom 10 in the league averaging 15.4 turnovers per contest. The Suns have not been too keen on forcing steals this year and only came away with four in their last game.
Three active players are giving you right around 17 points per game for Indiana as the scoring has been relatively balanced. Those three players are the only ones averaging double figures, but Jalen Smith and Aaron Nesmith are both giving you just under 10 points per contest. Buddy Hield has been the primary scorer with Haliburton out of the fold and he has been shooting well from distance. He’s taking nine 3-pointers per game and has been knocking them down at a 42.4% clip. Myles Turner has been solid down low and he’s also averaging right around 17 points per game and adding 7.8 rebounds. TJ McConnell and Andrew Nembhard have taken over ball facilitation duties and each are giving you 4-4.5 assists per contest. On the season Indiana is assisting on 64.9% of their made baskets which is 3rd in the NBA.
On the defensive end of the Indiana court is allowing 116.5 points per game and over their last five that number has ballooned to 124 per contest. Opponents are shooting 46.9% from the floor and have been converting 37.2% of their 34.4 3-point attempts per game. In the paint Indian has been pretty average, allowing 49.6 points per game, but the defense has been good in regard to opponent 2-point shooting percentage, where they rank top 10 in the NBA holding opponents to 53.1%. As highlighted, steals have generated quick points on numerous occasions for the Pacers and they have been very effective creating turnovers. Indiana is top 10 in the NBA in steals per game. I expect the Pacers to keep the pressure on the Suns who are right around average in terms of ball security. On the defensive glass, the Pacers have been giving up plenty of second chance scoring opportunities. On the season opponents are coming down with 27.3% of their missed shots, which ranks bottom three in the league. The Suns have been good on the offensive glass this season and Turner will need to play big against Ayton to keep the Suns limited to single shot possessions.
Sun’s Snap 3 Game Skid
The Suns finally got back in the win column, and have won just two of their last 10 games. The Suns jumped out to an early lead and commanded most of the game, having a 23 point lead at one time in the second half. Brooklyn roared back, but Phoenix ultimately held them off and won by three. The Suns were strong on the boards and brought in 12 offensive rebounds while holding Brooklyn to just two. The Suns ended with just four steals and five fast break points. Bridges and Ayton both finished with over 20 points and Cam Johnson added 19 off the bench.
On the season the Suns are scoring 112.7 points per game and in their last five games that number has dropped to 108.4. Phoenix has been shooting 46.4% from the floor and their 2-point shooting ranks in the bottom two of the NBA. From the perimeter, the Suns have been more efficient. They shoot just over 33 3-pointers per game, which is on par with the league average, but they are knocking those shots down at a rate of 38.4%, good for 3rd in the league. In the paint, Phoenix has been somewhat lackluster as they are generating just 45.5 points in the paint per game. Ayton has been a big time player down low for Phoenix, but he is really the only true scorer down low for them. In transition the Suns have also been lackluster. Phoenix gets just over 10 points per game from fast break points, but a large part of this has been due to the Suns playing one of the slower paces in the NBA. On the offensive glass the Suns have been pretty strong, again boosted by Ayton’s impact in the key. Phoenix ranks 6th in the league in offensive rebound rate coming down with 26.7% of their missed shots. The Pacers have struggled holding opponents to single shot possessions and the Suns will be looking to grab a high amount of offensive boards in this one.
Five active players are giving you double figures for the Suns and Ayton leads them with 17.5 points per game to go with 9.9 rebounds. Bridges has also contributed more with both Devin Booker and Chris Paul out of the fold and he’s been adding 16 points per game. Cam Johnson and Saben Lee have been nice contributors off the bench as they each give you 11-12 points per game and combine for just under nine assists. Johnson has been the primary facilitator, and as mentioned, he is coming off the bench. He’s giving you 5.3 assists per contest and on the season the Suns are assisting on 64.4% of their made baskets, 4th in the NBA.
On the defensive end of the court the Suns are allowing 112.2 points per game and at home that number drops to 109.1, both ranked in the top 10 defensively. Opponents are shooting 47.5% from the floor and have defended the perimeter very well. The Suns are the best defensive in the NBA in terms of opponent 3-point attempts per game, allowing just over 31 per game. Of those shots opponents have been connecting on 36.4% of those shots which is bottom 10 in the league. In the paint, the Suns have been pretty average and are allowing 49.3 points in the key per game. In transition the defense has been much better. Phoenix ranks 7th in the NBA in opponent fast break points per game, holding teams to 12.6 per game. Phoenix will need to emphasize their transition defense agains the Pacers as Indiana is good at coming away with steals and they will look to push the pace on any loose ball turnover that arises. On the defensive glass Phoenix has been pretty average as they allow opposition to come down with 24.6%. Phoenix did hold Brooklyn to just two offensive rebounds and if they can hold the Pacers off the glass they will control much of the game.
Full game side bet
The Suns finally got a win and they played well at home, scoring more points and holding opponents to fewer. The Suns have the talent and chemistry to string together a run at any point. Indiana has struggled with their offensively fluidity ever since Haliburton went down with an injury. The perimeter guards of Phoenix should have the upper hand in this one and I expect them to limit the amount of clean looks the Pacers will get from distance. Phoenix has also been good in transition defensively and I expect them to stymie the fast break offense of the Pacers here. Take the Suns at home.
Prediction: Phoenix -4.5
Full game total pick
The Suns play slower at home and the Pacers have been slower on the road this season. Phoenix likes to work their offense in the half court and when they come away with steals they also don’t look to push it up the court. Indiana plays fast when they can force turnovers, but they are also very dependent on the 3-ball, which has shown to have regressive variance of late. The Suns should defend the perimeter well in this one and Indiana has played well on the interior and has waned as a top three team in blocks per game as well. The play in this one is the under which is 7-1 between these two teams in the last 8 in Phoenix.
Prediction: Under 221.5
Caleb Davis, “Caleb Davis”
I have been a basketball junkie my entire life and I played basketball up and into college, where l eventually hung it up for the last time. I was very competitive and that has translated over into sports wagering. It drove me to look at games and scour over film and trends to find that same advantage. Majoring in technology management in college, l spent hours studying markets and how they operate. While seeming efficient, they almost never are. This allows a savvy participant to exploit opportunities; in other words, to find their edge. Immediately l made the connection between general markets, and betting markets. What l bring to the table is a ceaseless drive to continually find my edge, the ability to capitalize on market movement, and the data, trends, and stats to confirm my assertion. My hunger for success is why you will be happy to read my breakdowns. No stone will go unturned to find you a winner.