The biggest matchup of the night features the Indiana Pacers taking on the Houston Rockets. Both squads have displayed some excellent play this season and have healthy win streaks coming into tonight’s game. Indy is fueled by their defense, while the Rockets have a uniquely effective offense. Defense against offense, which reigns supreme? Let’s take a look.
Indiana Pacers (7-4) @ Houston Rockets (8-3)
The Pacers started the season slow out of the gates by losing their first 3 games, but they’ve responded extremely well by winning 7 of their last 8 overall. What’s more impressive is how they are doing this without their star in Victor Oladipo. It brings up the question of how scary this team will be at full strength and whether or not they’re a real playoff contender. Hopefully tonight’s game can shed a little light on that.
- Both Myles Turner and Jeremy Lamb will be out Victor Oladipo is still out, but nearing a return and has been assigned to the organization’s G-league team.
- The Pacers have won their last 4 games in a row after a narrow overtime loss to Charlotte.
- They are just 2-3 on the road this year.
- 3 players are scoring more than 18 points per game, including offseason acquisition Brogdon (7), Sabonis (19.8), and Warren (18.5).
- Indy has a strong defensive squad, as they are the 5th-best in the league for lowest opponent scoring per game (104) and 11th for field goal shooting (44%).
- Their largest weakness is their inability to get to the free throw line. They are dead last in the league by a decent margin with just 6 attempts per game.
- Indiana has covered the point spread in their last 4 games and is currently 7-3 in their last 10 games.
The Rockets certainly had a rocky start to the season, but it seems that they’ve gotten back on track. The addition of Russell Westbrook certainly looks to be a success, but it is James Harden that continues to dominate on a nightly basis. Houston is a team that relies heavily on the 3-ball, but it just hasn’t been dropping for them so far. When Harden, Westbrook, and Gordon finally find their rhythm, this team will be extremely scary to defend against.
- Clint Capela will be out tonight due to a concussion. Russell Westbrook will miss either tonight’s game or tomorrow’s matchup against Minnesota for rest. Eric Gordon is still out.
- After dropping to 3-3, the Rockets have responded by winning their last 5
- They are a solid 4-1 at home this year.
- James Harden is having another monster year on offense. He is averaging 38.2 points and 8.2 assists, but on just 3% field goal shooting and 31.8% 3-point shooting. His 15.3 free throw attempts per game are keeping his scoring up.
- The Rockets are largely led by their offensive game. They are 3rd-best in the league for scoring per game at 6 and best in the league for free throw attempts with 29.8.
- On the other hand, their weakness is opponent scoring and rebounds. They are in the bottom 5 for both statistics at 1 points per game and 48.6 rebounds.
- Houston has covered the point spread in 4 of their last 5 games, but is just 4-6 in their last 10.
Pick: Indiana Pacers +7.5
While Houston does have a good home record, the problem here tonight is that Clint Capela will not be playing. The Rockets already have issues rebounding the ball and he’s grabbed 20 boards in each of the last 3 games. They also won’t have anyone to deal with Domantas Sabonis down low, giving him free reign to score at will. If Westbrook doesn’t play tonight, the Rockets will suffer even more. For these reasons, you should definitely take the points and bet on the Indiana Pacers to win tonight.