Game Analysis

The Indiana Pacers host the NBA’s worst team, the Golden State Warriors, on Friday, looking to win for the seventh time in their last eight games and close in on the top four in the Eastern Conference. Despite playing the entire season without All-Star Victor Oladipo, the Pacers, who trail fourth place Boston by one game, have found scoring from other sources. T.J. Warren, who was acquired from Phoenix for cash considerations in the offseason, is leading the team in scoring at 18 points per game. More importantly for Warren, he’s been healthy, playing in all 45 games. Warren has missed 16 or more games per season the previous five seasons he’s been in the league. The Pacers are also led by free agent acquisition Malcolm Brogdon, who is averaging 17.1 points and 7.3 assists per game. Domanaas Sabonis is also an emerging star, averaging 17.9 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. The Warriors, meanwhile, are simply playing for lottery odds. The team has been decimated by injuries, with stars Klay Thompson and Steph Curry both likely out for the season. Leading scorer D’Angelo Russell, All-Star Draymond Green, and center Kevon Looney have also missed significant time with injuries. Golden State has relied on a collection of veterans and young players being thrust into larger than expected roles. Glenn Robinson III (12.2 points per game) and Alec Burks (16.0 points per game) have made the most of consistently seeing extended minutes for the first time in their careers. The Warriors have lost 12 of their last 13 games. They’re 22-23-1 against the spread and the Pacers are 24-18-3.

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