James, Cleveland try to hold down Indiana
Despite a tough start to the seasons, Indiana has produced consistently strong results on its own floor. Will that pattern continue with the defending champions in town?
Indiana takes on the vaunted Cavaliers this evening, with a 7 p.m. ET tip at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the visitors odds of -175 to prevail. Nate McMillan’s squad, on the other hand, represents a +155 underdog.
Working in the Pacers’ favor is the fact that Cleveland will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. LeBron James’ 28-point, 14-assist effort helped key Tuesday’s 121-117 victory over Toronto. Nonetheless, the Cavs had to expend a lot of energy to storm back in that affair.
Meanwhile, Indiana’s coming off an exceptional defensive performance in which it held Orlando to 69 points. We’re interested to see if Paul George & Co. can do likewise vs. one of the league’s deadliest set of bombers. The Cavaliers have converted at least 10 3-pointers in each of their first 10 contests.
Coach Tyronn Lue won’t unnecessarily push James and Kyrie Irving here, so expect Mike Dunleavy, Richard Jefferson and other second-unit personnel to log heavier-than-usual minutes. As a result, we like the Pacers’ prospects of enhancing that home mark even further.
WEDNESDAY NBA FREE PICK: PACERS +4