The Indiana Pacers look for a third straight win when they visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday in the first of a home-and-home that will end Friday in Indianapolis. Minnesota has dropped two in a row coming into this contest.
Indiana is looking to establish some rhythm, just two weeks away from the return of All-Star Victor Oladipo. He has now been out for roughly a full year, and yet the wins have continued to come for the Pacers, as the team has been playing some exceptional ball.
The Pacers have dealt with injuries to several other key guys this year, but here they are, 10 games over .500 at the halfway point, and still on pace for 50 wins.
Minnesota’s injuries have kept it in the dark, and it has seen the losses coming from everywhere. Karl-Anthony Towns has now missed the last 16 games, while Andrew Wiggins has missed eight on the year.
Jake Layman was playing well early on and has now missed the last 25. The starting lineup has constantly changed, but guys have stepped up when called upon. Gorgui Dieng is playing well in place of Towns, while rookie Jarrett Culver is finally starting to learn how to properly put the ball in the bucket. Good things may yet be on the horizon for them.
The visiting Pacers will serve as 2.5-point favorites. The Pacers’ moneyline is set at -136, while for Minnesota, its +116.
With Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon finally back in the lineup together, the team is hoping to move up in the East standings. Myles Turner has played alongside Sabonis, the two of them being featured together regularly for the first time. Turner plays outside on offense while Sabonis gets the post, and vice versa on the defensive side of things.
The Pacers’ other key addition, T.J. Warren, is scoring at will and proving to be a valuable option when they need a quick bucket. The shooting guard position has given them enough production between Aaron Holiday and Jeremy Lamb, though the spot is just waiting to be reclaimed by Oladipo.
Making the three-pointer and limiting second chances are the name of the game for this team to get a win Wednesday night. The Pacers have playmakers on both ends all over who will have to step up.
Hoping For Home Cookin’
Towns would really come in handy against Turner, but he is not walking through that door. His return is close but it will not happen yet. Dieng has proven that he can not only be active on the boards on both ends, but he can step out and make the three. He has 35 makes and is shooting it at a 39 percent clip from downtown.
Shabazz Napier, in yet another new home, is proving that he can be effective. Robert Covington and Josh Okogie are still locking opposing guards and wings down.
This team is far from perfect, and Jeff Teague continues to come off the bench. But if Wiggins can score 35 Wednesday night, the Timberwolves may have a shot.
Pacers Get The Win
Led by Sabonis and Brogdon double-doubles, the Pacers will pick up the win in the first of two straight meetings.
Free Play: IND -2.5
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