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|Team||Point Spread||Total||Money Line|
|Charlotte Hornets||+3 (-114)
|O 227 (-110)
|Indiana Pacers||-3 (-107)
|U 227 (-110)
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|The Indiana Pacers would usually be the pick in this matchup, but they may have hit the wrong injury trend to close the season. On the other hand, the Charlotte Hornets have handled the Pacers through the regular season.|
|Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers Information|
|Teams||Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers|
|Location||Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana|
|Time||6:30 PM EST, May 18th, 2021|
|How to Watch||TNT|
|Charlotte Hornets||Head-to-Head||Indiana Pacers|
|James Borrego||Head Coach||Nate Bjorkgren|
|33-39 (10th in East)||Standing||34-38 (9th in East)|
|110.9 (23rd of 30)||Off Rtg||112.4 (14th of 30)|
|111.4 (13th of 30)||Def Rtg||112.4 (13th of 30)|
|98.3 (20th of 30)||Pace||101.6 (5th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|T. Rozier (20.4)||PPG||D. Sabonis (21.2)|
|C. Zeller (6.8)||RPG||D. Sabonis (12.0)|
|L. Ball (6.1)||APG||D. Sabonis (6.7)|
|L. Ball (1.6)||SPG||T. McConnell (1.9)|
|P. Washington (1.2)||BPG||M. Turner (3.4)|
|B. Biyombo (.587)/T. Rozier (7.4)||FG%/FGM||T. McConnell (.559)/M. Brogdon (7.9)|
|G. Hayward (.415)/D. Graham (3.3)||3P%/3PM||O. Brissett (.423)/M. Brogdon (2.6)|
Even with Indiana missing a key piece in Myles Turner, the Charlotte Hornets need to rely on their strengths against the Pacers.
Indiana aren’t the highest volume shooting team, and would rather find success at the rim first. Charlotte have a great stable of interior defenders, but are last in the league at two-point field goal percentage allowed.
A part of that comes from Charlotte’s focus on running players off the line. But with Indiana’s injury issues, preventing easy baskets at the rim is the best way Charlotte can be competitive.
The best ⚾️ and ? style passes from LaMelo Ball this season! pic.twitter.com/DDeS6r3bES
— NBA (@NBA) May 5, 2021
Many expected LaMelo Ball to have an impact when he got to the NBA, but few foresaw the production that he’d have in his rookie year.
The Hornets are a significantly more dynamic team with Ball on the court. As their group of scoring guards are more than welcome to play receiver to Ball at the point guard position. Ball is likely a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year, averaging 15.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 6.2 rebounds in his final ten games after returning from injury.
The Hornets are usually successful when they play with pace, taking advantage of their athleticism. Ball’s willingness to push the ball will be crucial to their success.
Despite significant personnel issues and shocking criticism of head coach Nate Bjorkgren, the Indiana Pacers closed out the season relatively strong.
While the Pacers split their last ten, they showed some excellent defensive determination in a number of their matches. Even though they were undermanned, the Pacers held their opponents to just 32.2% from three over their last ten games.
The Hornets want to draw out big men and capitalize from range. Eyes will be on Domantas Sabonis and Oshae Brissett to step up and cover for their guards when needed.
? Like father, like son ?
Domantas Sabonis’ flair and passing ability resembles his dad, Arvydas!
— NBA (@NBA) May 15, 2021
There are few players who you could say do everything for their team in the NBA. Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and Pascal Siakam to name a few. One name that gets overlooked all too often is All-Star Domantas Sabonis.
Sabonis is the engine that makes the Pacers run. Not only is he crucial on the defensive end with his size and mobility, but his signature playmaking ability on the offensive end is almost unmatched. The Lithuanian averaged 21.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 6.7 assists on the season, also collecting nine triple doubles in 61 games.
If the Pacers have an advantage anywhere against the Hornets, it’s through Sabonis’ ability to unlock the defence on the offensive end. With Turner out, Sabonis will be a focal point on offence.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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