Oklahoma City Thunder v Indiana Pacers
March 28th 2019; Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma
Despite poor form, Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers at least achieved the ultimate goal; finish in the top 8 and appear in the playoffs, however, the final seed number is still in the question. Tonight we will watch a match between these two struggling teams at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma where Thunder failed to win their last 3 fixtures.
Oklahoma City Thunder come into this match as the 7th team in the West with a 43-31 record, which is more than enough to keep them above 37-37 Sacramento Kings who sit at the 9th spot. Looking back at their last 5 fixtures, Thunder were far from impressive with only 1 win and 4 losses. They managed to win against Toronto Raptors in a rematch on Saturday (109:116), but struggled to do the same against Golden State Warriors (88:110), Miami Heat (107:116), Toronto Raptors (114:123)(OT) and most recently Memphis Grizzlies (115:103). After a disappointing defeat in Memphis, Oklahoma City Thunder are 1-5 and only 0.5 game ahead of 8th places San Antonio Spurs, who just might pass Oklahoma tonight, if Thunder fail to impress against Indiana Pacers.
Indiana Pacers will come into this fixture after an emphatic win against Denver Nuggets on Sunday (124:88), which ended their 4 games losing streak. As is stands now, they are 4th in the East with a 45-29 record. Looking at the four fixtures they failed to win prior to the Denver Nuggets double-digit win, they lost to Denver Nuggets (102:100), Portland Trail Blazers (106:98), Los Angeles Lakers (115:109) and Golden State Warriors (112:89). Indiana Pacers have really been up and down since the injury of their star player Victor Oladipo, however, I am really impressed by the fact they managed to hold on to the top 4 in the East. While they were far from impressive in the recent matches, Indiana Pacers played extremely well against Denver Nuggets on Sunday and deservingly won by 36 points.
Indiana Pacers have Collison listed as questionable to appear. On the other side, Oklahoma City Thunder won't have Roberson available.
Both sides struggled to put up decent results in the recent fixtures and while we know the reason behind Indiana Pacers mediocre results, Thunder are a team where it's hard to pinpoint where it went wrong. Their biggest issue this season was mediocre performances of Westbrook, who is simply not himself. While he did improve and played better in recent matches, it's Paul George who was inconsistent. Oklahoma City Thunder seemingly can only win if both Westbrook and George play well, otherwise, they have no other player to carry the team in offence. On the bright side, they look decent in defence, despite the "rebounding issue". Tonight they will play against Indiana Pacers who play well even though their key star player is injured. If they can show what they showed against Denver Nuggets, I can safely say they will add another win to the 2018/19 season. Considering the fact Thunder are all over the place with their form and a disastrous performance against Memphis in the recent match, I like Indiana more here, as I do believe they will be able to keep the match within 5 points. Additionally, neither of the two teams have been very effective in the offence (6th and 8th worst in the last 3 fixtures), while still playing well in the defensive end. Taking that into consideration, we expect a close and a low scoring match.
Prediction: Indiana Pacers +6.00 points