This game is a story of injuries. The Pacers will be missing Sabonis, Brogdon, Turner and potentially Caris LeVert while the Pelicans will be without Ingram and Graham. Essentially the most important players for each team are missing, so the question is which team performs better with the non-stars. So first we look at points from the bench, Pacers rank right around the middle of the league at 17th , with solid contributions from Chris Duarte and Justin Holiday. The Pelicans on the other hand come in much lower at 25th . Put simpler, the Pelicans are flat out bad and can’t adjust as well to missing players as a middle of the pack team like the Pacers. If LeVert turns out to play then I would elevate this pick to a must take, but for now I still love the Pacers plus the spread.
@KeepTheJuice Monday NBA Picks - 01/24
Indiana Pacers (17-30) @ New Orleans Pelicans (17-28)
Utah Jazz (30-17) @ Pheonix Suns (36-9)
Another game with significant injury impact, the Jazz will miss Donovan Mitchel and Gobert plus potentially Mike Conley. The Suns are still without Ayton and Crowder. The Suns have shown some definite weakness in the paint without Ayton, which has left them vulnerable to teams with a great center. If Gobert were playing, this pick would go the other way, but with him out the Jazz also have very few options. Considering the matchups of Biyombo/McGee vs Azubuike/Whiteside a wash, this comes down to more perimeter offense, which the Suns are the best at in the league. They should have this game in hand by the 4thquarter by at least 10, maybe more if Conley is out as well.
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