Philadelphia 76ers vs Indiana Pacers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

When: Thursday, January 17th, 7:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, NBC Sports Philadelphia | 97.5 The Fanatic, 1070 The Fan/107.5 FM

Philadelphia 76ers (Away)

Head Coach: Brett Brown {All-Time 155-299 | PHI}

As of late, the Philadelphia 76ers have failed to find some real rhythm in their pursuit of the first place spot in the Eastern Conference table. At 28-16, the Sixers are ranked fourth in the East.

Just a game behind the Indiana Pacers, the Philadelphia 76ers hoped that their early-season acquisition would bolster their team and push them to the top of the conference. They have certainly improved, but their bench leaves much to be desired as it has struggled in their pursuit for success.

The Indiana Pacers are almost the opposite in team composition from the Sixers. Led by Victor Oladipo and a number of capable supporting members, the Pacers don’t miss a step when their star leaves the court. It’ll take a team effort if the Sixers want to overcome the Pacers.

Indiana Pacers (Home)

Head Coach: Nate McMillan {All-Time 596-540 | SEA, POR, IND}

The Indiana Pacers are having a thrilling season to this point in the year. With a record of 28-14, they are third in the East and have established themselves as a true power in the Eastern Conference.

In recent games the Pacers have been dominant, going 8-2 in their last ten. Their success comes with a caveat though, of those eight wins none have been against plus-.500 squads. Their two losses have come against the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.

The Pacers will look to prove their success isn’t merely a product of their schedule when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers, who are a mere game out from tying for third in the East with them.

What’s At Stake?

The Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers are two of the oldest NBA franchises. In 177 regular season meetings, the Philadelphia 76ers lead the all-time series 98-79 over the Indiana Pacers.

A win for the Sixers would place them in a tie for third with the Pacers as they would maintain more wins, but the Pacers would hold the superior win-percentage.

A win for the Pacers would put them just a game back from the Milwaukee Bucks in second place.

Questions to answer

How can the Sixers find balance?

Why has the Pacers defence slipped?

We are going to compare the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Sixers do not have a “League Average” bench player

To say the Jimmy Butler trade stripped the Sixers of their depth would be an understatement. McConnel, Korkmaz, Shamet, Muscala, and Bolden are their main bench unit and provide no sense of hope for success should the main cast go to the bench.

The average win-share for a bench player in last years conference finals was 0.116. Considering the Sixers are aiming for the NBA Finals and do not have a single bench contributor that meets that rating is concerning.

Injuries have certainly been a part of the Sixers’ problems, but one could say the health of the deeper bench wouldn’t do much to bolster the bench units production. You can’t play the starting five 48 minutes per game, but should Brett Brown stagger the substitution of his stars with his bench better results may follow at the expense of fatigue.

The Pacers are 26th in Defensive Efficiency over their last ten

Throughout the first 34 games in the NBA season, the Indiana Pacers were tanked first in overall defensive efficiency. In recent matches that efficiency has dipped greatly, coinciding with star C Myles Turner being unavailable for selection.

Nate McMillan was quoted in saying that his team looked “gassed” after blowout losses to the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors. But their fatigue is compounded on the fact that they lack an interior presence without Turner on the court. Despite entering the game in the bottom third of the league in points in the paint, the Celtics were able to score 56 points in the paint against the Pacers.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a team that excels when they play inside-out. With the talents of Simmons and Embiid, they are already a load within the arc. If the Pacers can’t find the strength to deal with the Sixers’ inside presence, they’ll be quickly dismantled.

Philadelphia 76ers Roster Notes

G Markelle Fultz – Out (Shoulder/Wrist) – Fultz is progressing well in rehab and expects to return this season according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

F-C Amir Johnson – Day To Day (Migraine) – Johnson did not play in Sunday’s game (Jan. 13).

C Justin Patton – Out (Foot) – Patton could return in early February according to head coach Brett Brown.

G Zhaire Smith – Out (Foot) – Smith has been working out every morning and is expected to play this season according to Kyle Neubeck.

Indiana Pacers Roster Notes

C Myles Turner – Day To Day (Sore right shoulder) – Turner did not play in Friday’s game (Jan. 11) against the Knicks.

Head-to-Head: Jimmy Butler vs Victor Oladipo

Jimmy Butler

Shooting Guard | 6-8, 232lb (203cm, 105kg) | Marquette | Exp. 7 Years

18.7 PPG | 3.2 APG | 5.0 RPG | 1.8 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.6 TOV | .470 FG% | .380 3P%

Victor Oladipo

Shooting Guard | 6-4, 210lb (193cm, 95kg) | Indiana | Exp. 5 Years

19.8 PPG | 5.2 APG | 5.8 RPG | 1.7 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 2.4 TOV | .438 FG% | .347 3P%

Jimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo are a pair of do-it-all wing players that will face off in hopes of leading their team up the Eastern Conference table. Both excellent scorers, playmakers, and defenders, expect each possession where they matchup to be electric.

Jimmy Butler’s stats across the board are down this season. That statistical decrease is due to main playmaking duties going to Ben Simmons. Butler is a capable scorer but is doing more off of screens and cuts, which has saved his legs and ability for late-game clutch situations.

Victor Oladipo is one of the most exciting players in the air, on the ground, or on defence. He handles the ball like a guard and attacks the rim like a forward. While Jimmy Butler is an excellent defender, the Pacers’ team oriented offence will do wonders to open up opportunities for Oladipo to make key plays.

Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Indiana Pacers favoured over the Philadelphia 76ers by 3, with an over/under of 110.