After beating up on the Celtics Saturday night, the Warriors turned around and got dismantled by the Bucks last night. Golden State will now head to Indiana to play the Pacers, and we’ll be previewing the game along with a breakdown of why I like the Warriors as road favorites.
Tonight will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Warriors, and usually, in this situation, it would be expected for Golden State to rest Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. However, tonight there is a good chance that Curry and Green will play since they saw exponentially fewer minutes than usual due to their blowout loss to Milwaukee.
Despite having the fourth-highest NET rating in the league over the last ten games at 6.3, the Warriors enter tonight with the same record as the Indiana Pacers. Golden State has not looked cohesive at times on offense, and in that same ten-game span, the Warriors have a 15.6% turnover percentage which is 23rd in the league.
The good news for the Warriors is that this Pacers team that beat them on December 5th has started to regress quite a bit on both sides of the ball. Indiana could only score 82 points in their most recent loss to the Miami Heat. This brought their offensive efficiency rating for the last ten games down to 107.5, the second worst in the league.
Indiana has been an average rebounding team all season, but recently it has become a significant weakness for them. Sticking with that same recent ten-game stretch, the Pacers have the worst rebounding percentage in the league at 45.6%. Aside from his 13-rebound performance in the loss to the Heat, leading rebounder Myles Turner has been rebounding at a much lower clip than his usual average.
The Warriors can be found as -1 to -1.5 point road favorites, and they are my best bet for this one. As I mentioned before, the Warriors already lost a game in Indiana earlier this month; however, this number is too low based on the Pacers' recent play and the general scoring advantages the Warriors possess.
After losing last night in blowout fashion, I expect them to come out with some fire tonight. Golden State still has the eighth-highest true shooting percentage in the league over the last ten games, and they still lead the league in assists per game, so they should be able to take advantage of this lackluster Pacers defense.
Over the last ten games, Indiana is allowing the most second-chance points a game in the league (17.3), the fourth most points in the paint a game (55.2), and they are 23rd in the fast break points allowed. Giving the Warriors transition and second chance opportunities is a recipe for disaster; right now, the Pacers don’t seem to have a way to stop it.
Golden State Warriors (-1) or (-1.5 if that’s the best number available)