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Can Pacers Tighten Their Grip On The Second Seed?

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/20/2013 7:19:02 PM

In a battle of Central Division foes, Milwaukee tries to get itself out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, while Indiana looks to keep its grasp on the East’s second seed.

Milwaukee Bucks @ Indiana Pacers – Friday, March 22
Sport betting line:

Why Milwaukee Will Win

No bet on this game should ignore the following point: There are a few areas in which the Bucks have to be on top of their game if they are going to go on the road and beat a good Pacers team. One area in which Indiana struggles, an area that plays into Milwaukee’s hands, is the turnover realm. The Bucks have forced the third most turnovers in the league, and Indiana is a team that doesn’t take care of the ball. Indiana’s strength is in the frontcourt while Milwaukee’s quick guards enable the Bucks to create problems for opponents. Getting pressure on the Pacers’ ballhandlers may lead to more possessions. The Pacers don’t shoot a very high percentage from the floor and do most of their work on the offensive glass. Milwaukee has to clean up the boards better than it normally does in this matchup against a tough, physical Pacers frontcourt.

The Pacers rarely have games with great team offense. They don’t generate many assists and play a lot of dump-down basketball, in which they feed the post and simply watch from the perimeter. If the Bucks can keep them out of transition and contest shots on a regular basis, the Pacers rarely ever beat teams with multiple passes. It’s just a matter of being focused and consistent on defense for Milwaukee - the path to victory exists.

Why Indiana Will Win

The community of mma betting experts might not know that the Pacers are one of the best rebounding teams in basketball. They know where the Bucks are vulnerable, and that is on the offensive glass. Nobody in the NBA is worse at cleaning up defensive rebounds than the Bucks, and you can bet that Roy Hibbert and David West are aware of this. The home team has won every game in the season series thus far, and Indiana has recorded 50 or more rebounds in every single contest, outrebounding the Bucks by at least seven every time.

It’s an undeniable advantage for Indiana, one the Pacers must maintain. The Bucks, despite possessing two offensively talented (though not exactly efficient) guards, are an offensive mess. The team shoots low percentages from all three areas (overall, three-point range, free throws) and doesn’t have much of an inside presence at all. With Paul George on the wing as someone who is able to defend one of the Bucks' guards, Indiana has the guy who can put pressure on other Milwaukee role players to hit shots.

The Pacers have been rock solid at home most of the season. Despite a recent slump, they have been the second most consistent team in the Eastern Conference this season. Milwaukee is really the same team home or away, with near-.500 records at home and on the road. The Bucks haven’t shown the higher level of play Indiana has flashed at home. They faded in the second half in their last trip to Indiana.

Who Will Win

The Pacers are the desperate team here, trying to hold home-court advantage through the second round of the playoffs, while Milwaukee knows nobody from ninth on down is catching them for the final playoff spot in the East. Add in the Pacers' success at home, and Indiana seems like the right play.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Indiana

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