For the first time this season, the Golden State Warriors will face the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers have established dominance in the Eastern Conference, at least in the standings, and have been the most impressive team in the NBA during this regular season. After lining up four straight wins on their home court, the Pacers hit the road and will visit Oracle Arena on Monday.
Keys to the game/Players to watch
Off Eff: Warriors: 104.0 (12th) Pacers: 102.9 (16th)
Def Eff: Warriors 99.6 (5th) Pacers: 92.6 (1st)
Defense The strength of the Pacers is not an undisclosed secret — the play smothering defense like no other team in the NBA. Indiana’s stellar perimeter defense is anchored by the number one candidate to Defensive Player of the Year honors in Roy Hibbert. They collectively suffocate the opposition and are a very frustrating team to play against. In some ways, the Warriors have followed the same model and have improved a lot defensively. If you’re looking for a high-scoring, up-and-down game to brighten up your Monday night, there is a pretty good chance that this game will not be your cup of tea.
Paul George Perhaps George isn’t quite consistent enough yet to overtake Kevin Durant and LeBron James in the MVP race, but he has been absolutely lethal this year. Saturday evening he reminded everyone just that by dropping 36 points on 12-17 shooting from the field against the Los Angeles Clippers. Oh, and he also won the dunk of the year. In January. When he gets hot, he is as hard to stop as any other player in the league.
Nemanja Nedovic (out)
Jermaine O’Neal (out)
Festus Ezeli (out)
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