Indiana Pacers (24-16)
Houston Rockets (21-19)
The Indiana Pacers look to bounce back from a tough game in Orlando and what better way to do that then a game at home, where they’ve won 10 in a row. Even better is the defense at home allowing just 82 points a game. This will be key against a Houston team averaging over 105 points per game. This will be a real test to see where the Pacers are defensively. We’ve seen it step up when this challenge presents itself, and tonight will be that.
The key player to watch is James Harden. He’s averaging around 26 points a game, and gets so hot so quickly. The Pacers should look to put Paul George, possibly their best defensive player, on Harden and hope the length gets to Harden. If Harden goes off, the Rockets will in this game.
Also, keep an eye on the post position as Omer Asik goes up against Roy Hibbert. Hibbert has struggled at times with his shot, and with a guy that’s just around his size, Hibbert could struggle tonight. It would be a good time for Hibbert to find his shot and get some of that explosiveness he’s had before. Asik is a tough rebounder, so key to keep a body on him and not allow him to grab many boards. With as well as the Pacers rebound, they should be able to keep him off the glass.
It’s going to be a tough game to predict as the Pacers have been up and down over the past week. But if they can get something going on offense, and playing as well as they have at home, they should be able to sneak out a win tonight.