Feb 23, 2021 at 8:38 p.m. PST
Numerous NBA players announced they’d preferred an All-Star break without the rigors of the game itself. Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers haven’t played a regular season game since February 17th.
Between the complications caused by COVID-19 and the winter storm that swept through Texas last week, the Pacers haven’t been since February 13th farther from Indianapolis.
Indiana is a two-point favorite at home against Golden State (ESPN, 7:30 p.m. EST) on Wednesday, beating the Warriors when they last played between 104 and 95 on Jan. 12 .
Stephen Curry missed Golden State’s game against Charlotte on Saturday with an illness, but returned to the line-up against New York on Tuesday with 37 points.
As long as Curry is healthy for Golden State, that is The main concern of the opponents of the warriors is always three-point shooting. Although Curry only shot 40% off the field against New York, he made 7 out of 14 attempts from a distance – he had a total of nine field goals in the game.
The more surprising thing about Golden State were its defensive numbers. The warriors’ defensive efficiency has decreased a bit lately, but for the season the warriors were one of the top 5 units in this category.
On the way to Tuesday they captured opponents with the second lowest percentage of field goals in the league, and the Knicks shot a brutal 39% at them.
Social media is flooded with Warriors fans complaining about their team’s lack of defense. For every 100 possessions, Golden State’s opponents averaged just 109 points per game, the fifth-highest mark in the NBA. The Warriors did even better in the second back-to-back games, where they allowed just over 106 ppg under the circumstances. The Pacers were a top third shooting team that year, and they reached their season high for points in a game in their last game in Minnesota with 134 points. In fact, Indiana was the third-highest-scoring team in the NBA in the last three games.
Indy has been building bigger scores lately without scooping many three-point points. The Pacers have shot the seventh-smallest three-pointers in the NBA in the last three games, scoring the third-fastest breakpoints on the same track. Domantas Sabonis was crucial in the basket, and 48% of his field goal attempts this season have been dunks or layups.
The warriors have largely kept opponents at bay by defending high percentage shots, but not because the opponents have more three points shot against them.
Domantas Sabonis averaged 21.5 PPG and 11.6 RPG this season, along with 23 doubles doubles, which is the second most common in the NBA. Out of the top 6 players with the most doubles doubles, Sabonis is the only one not selected as an All-Star pic.twitter.com/aDMjAhPl3n
Outside of Nikola Vucevic of Orlando, Golden State hasn’t really been against lately played a team with a really tall man, and Vooch scored 25 and 30 points in the last two games Magic played the Warriors. Sabonis has the second highest usage percentage with the Pacers this season and is remotely enough threat to keep Golden State honest on defense.
Indiana has had some impressive offensive performances in recent games, but they have competed against teams fighting either overall or on the defensive at the end of the NBA. After a decent layoff since their last game, the Pacers could use a quarter to get back on track. Curry wasn’t sharp for most of the New York game and jumping straight onto a street after an illness break isn’t a recipe for him.
The below 228.5 seems realistic, but the Warriors have five won their last eight and ended the game against New York with the energy that could take hold on Wednesday. In a nationally televised game and a bit of a revenge spot, Golden State should keep things close enough to cover the two points and potentially win instantly.
Nick Krueger has more than a decade of experience in sports media and covers a wide range of events including two Olympics for Yahoo Sports. Nick has also focused on college football recruiting, NCAA athletics, and major league baseball spring training.
Nick Krueger has more than a decade of experience in sports media and covers a wide range of events , including two Olympics for Yahoo Sports. Other priorities for Nick during his career have been college football recruitment, NCAA athletics, and Major League Baseball Spring Training.
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