Editorial by Graydon Fox
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On Tuesday, March 13th, the (38-28) Indiana Pacers will be on the road to take on the (35-29) Philadelphia 76ers.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of 76ers 106.3 – Pacers 96.8 with an over/under of 203.1.
Statistics (2017-18 season):
Point differential: 76ers +1.9 (10th) > Pacers +1.6 (11th)
Points per game: 76ers 107.7 (10th) > Pacers 106.1 (14th)
Points allowed per game: Pacers 104.5 (10th) > 76ers 105.8 (14th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Pacers 47.6% (4th) > 76ers 46.7% (11th)
Three Point Percentage: Pacers 37.1% (6th) > 76ers 36.5% (14th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: 76ers 43.9% (2nd) > Pacers 46.3% (17th)
Turnovers committed per game: Pacers 13.1 (7th) > 76ers 16.5 (30th)
Turnovers forced per game: Pacers 14.5 (7th) > 76ers 13.6 (18th)
Rebounds per game: 76ers 46.5 (1st) > Pacers 42.4 (22nd)
Assists per game: 76ers 25.8 (3rd) > Pacers 22.0 (22nd)
Philadelphia has certainly “trusted the process” as they currently sit in the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers dominate on the glass leading the league in rebounding (46.5) but they commit more turnovers than any other team (16.5). Joel Embiid’s (23.4 PPG and 11.0 RPG) ability to score in the post with a variety of moves and shoot from the perimeter makes him one of the most feared big men in the NBA. Ben Simmons (16.4 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 7.6 APG) is the front runner for rookie of the year and size/skill at the point guard position is the closest thing NBA fans have seen to Magic Johnson. Number one draft pick Markelle Fultz has been limited to just four games due to injury but players like J.J. Redick (16.7 PPG), Dario Saric (14.9 PPG), and Robert Covington (12.5 PPG) have stepped up their game to fill the void. Philadelphia is (6-4) in their last ten games. The 76ers average 107.7 points per game (7th) and allow 105.8 (14th).
Indiana has been perhaps the biggest surprise this season as they currently rank fourth in the Eastern conference. The Pacers have been one of the most efficient offensive teams this year (47.6 FG%) and have really shot well from three (37.1%). Indiana has also sone a great job of taking care of the basketball and forcing turnovers on the other end. The Pacers were killed at the time of the Paul George trade but Victor Oladipo (23.4 PPG, and 4.3 APG) has emerged as arguably the best two guard in the East. Oladipo has played both ends of the floor at a high level and leads the NBA in steals per game (2.22). Indiana lacks star power beyond Oladipo but Bojan Bogdanovic (14.4 PPG) and Myles Turner (13.5 PPG and 6.9 RPG) have had nice seasons. The Pacers rank just 23rd in bench scoring (32.0 PPG). Indiana is (7-3) in their last ten games. The Pacers average 106.1 points per game (4th) and allow 104.5 (10th).
The 76ers are (20-10) at home this season while the Pacers are (15-16) on the road. These two teams have split the season series (1-1) but the Pacers are (8-2) in their last ten head to head games with the 76ers. The Pacers are one of the better defensive teams in the league but Philadelphia has too much offensive firepower. I’m going with “The Crowd” and picking the 76ers at home where they have dominated this season.
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