The NBA has had a chaotic week with the recent spate of COVID, but our NBA Action Network analysts still see a lot of value in Tuesday’s six-game list.
Brandon Anderson and Roberto Arguello are on the same side of Pacers vs. Heat while Raheem Palmer and Kenny Ducey are on the other side of the late-night Suns-Lakers game on TNT.
Indiana is 13-18, third to last in the Eastern Conference. If the playoffs started today, the Pacers are so far away right now that not only would they not be doing the play-in tournament, but they wouldn’t even be doing a play-in tournament FOR the play-in tournament. .
Look beyond the record though. Dig a little deeper. The Pacers are ranked 10th in Basketball Reference’s offensive odds. They are 14th in the defensive standings. Hey, that’s the top half of the league in both! Indiana ranks 10th overall in the NBA in net scoring with a 1.6. It’s a positive points differential for the season!
The Pacers are not great, I promise you. Domantas Sabonis is an All Star! Myles Turner is a DPOY contestant! Malcolm Brogdon is a formidable leader. Chris Duarte has been one of the best and most productive rookies in the league. This team is really bad and maybe even a little good … when they know how to manage.
So what is the problem? In games with a final margin of four points or less, the Pacers are an unfathomable 1-9. They were really horrible in the clutch. And with such a low line, the books are expecting another close game.
I’m not. The Heat fall short of Indiana, at least not this version of the Heat – the missing version Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler and P.J. Tucker and maybe Tyler Herro. The Pacers will have four of the top five players in this game, and I just have to face them against this overstaffed Heat team that is so lacking in key players.
Yes, the Heat are 6-4 without Bam and Jimmy this season, and yes, one of those wins came against these Pacers. But they needed a huge shooting chance to get there, and this Miami team look even more shorthanded and just completed a four-game road trip when the Pacers didn’t play. since Thursday.
I’ll play the Pacers at -2 and hope we don’t have to rely on clutch time.
Roberto Arguello: Last season, whenever the Heat played without Bam Adebayo, it was an almost automatic bet for me to knock the Heat out of the spread. The Heat just couldn’t replicate their creation on offensive dribbling transfers and defensive versatility that allowed Miami to play a variety of defensive covers.
This season, the Heat have Kyle Lowry as their main distributor while PJ Tucker has stepped up in Adebayo’s absence as a short passer, and his defensive IQ and versatility have also helped fill Adebayo’s void at this end. However, Tucker and Adebayo are out on Tuesday against the Pacers while Jimmy Butler is also out with a tailbone injury.
The Heat will be struggling to do without their three starting players in the first zone, nor will they have any key reinforcements in the first zone with Markieff Morris and Caleb Martin. That means Miami will need a combination of Omer Yurtseven, KZ Okpala and Udonis Haslem to step up – and after seeing the Heat’s loss to the Pistons this weekend, I don’t like their chances of pulling this out. this unless the Heat is really hot from beyond the arc.
As Brandon mentioned, the Pacers aren’t as bad as their record suggests, and I’ll be backing them here as short road favorites with a score down to -3.
Raheem Palmer: The Los Angeles Lakers will move to a much smaller lineup with Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas, Wayne Ellington, Lebron James and DeAndre Jordan. Of course, Jordan is no longer the rim protector he used to be, and with Thomas in the shooting guard, we can expect this list to bleed points to a Suns team that is eighth in the game. Offensive ranking adjusted (110.9) and fifth in half-field points / play (97.4).
The Lakers are coming out of a game against the Bulls in which they allowed 1.16 points per possession with the same formation, so I expect more of the same or worse here, especially since the Bulls don’t. shot only 10 of 33 (33.3%) from behind the arc. The Suns are third in 3-point shooting percentage (37.8%) and should be able to capitalize on a Lakers defense that allows opposing teams to shoot 65.3% to the rim, 23rd among NBA teams.
The Suns should be able to get whatever they want offensively in this game, and although they have the league’s third defending rating, I think the Lakers should score enough with this lineup to help them pass the total. 223. I ‘I’m also going to put in the 6.5 points with the Suns because I don’t think the Lakers can call.
Betting on the Lakers has rarely been fun this year, but it’s often because they are overrated as favorites. As an underdog this year, L.A. is actually 6-4 ATS, which is a good number compared to their overall record of 12-19 ATS.
The Suns may have Devin Booker back in the fold, but it looks like Phoenix is going to take their time to level him up. He recorded 26 minutes last time in a resounding victory over Charlotte, but was just 6 of 15 down. I wouldn’t be surprised, in a game the Suns expect to win easily, if Booker sees south of 30 minutes. On top of that, given he’s shot 40 percent against basketball’s worst defense, the chances of him setting the Lakers on fire with limited minutes and rusty shots are slim.
L.A. has Talen Horton-Tucker back, who should help on both sides, and the return of Dwight Howard means there is at least one center here to strike with Deandre Ayton. The Lakers were actually getting things back on the defensive with the return of LeBron James before being ravaged by COVID-19, and despite being shorthanded, had an impressive performance in a five-point loss to the Bulls. I think they can keep it tight again.
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