After a week-long layoff, the Indiana Pacers will be back in action. The team's previous two games were supposed to be in part of a Texas road trip but were cancelled by the NBA. Next up, a home matchup with Stephen Curry the Golden State Warriors.
In their most recent outing, the Pacers managed to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves with 134-128 being the final score. Both Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon produced impressive results. Sabonis finished with a 36/16/10 stat line with Brogdon posting 32/9/7.
The Warriors are coming off a 114-106 win over the New York Knicks in what was Stephen Curry's return from a one-game absence. He poured in an impressive 37 points with three other members of the team chipping in double-figure scoring.
Here are the particulars on Monday night's game:
- Who: Indiana Pacers (15-14) vs. Golden State Warriors
- When: 7:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 24.
- Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Latest Line: Most oddsmakers currently consider the Pacers as 2-point favorites. (4 p.m. ET)
- Standings: The Pacers have remained in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings but hold just a half-game lead over the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, the Warriors hold the 8th spot in the Western Conference.
- Series history: Indiana leads the all-time series, 49-44.
- Last meeting: The Pacers last faced off with the Warriors back on Jan. 21, 2021. This game featured Myles turner leading with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks as Indiana managed to achieve a 104-95 victory.
- Projected Warriors starters: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney.
- Projected Pacers starters: Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner.
- TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Indiana.
- Announcers: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
ESPN - Announcers TBA
- Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Here are three things to watch during Wednesday's game:
1. Slowing Down Stephen Curry
The level of play Stephen Curry has provided the Warriors is more than well-known with him being the face of their recent dynasty. He isn't letting up as he has posted averages of 30.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists this season.
There may not be a more active player off the ball in the NBA than Curry. The Pacers struggle significantly with staying attached to shooters and that could be a real issue for them in this matchup. Indiana also has personnel limitations that could hurt their ability to contain Curry's dribble penetration, too.
It takes more than Curry putting up a huge scoring outing in order for the Warriors to get wins without Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant in their lineup. However, it's difficult for Golden State to be in a position to do so without him going off.
2. Balancing 'Prove It' Game
There should be added motivation from Domantas Sabonis to put together a strong outing given he wasn't named one of the Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves when the names were announced on Tuesday.
Sabonis is accompanied by Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Julius Randle as the only players in the NBA averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists this season. Each of those other players earned an All-Star spot.
Ball movement will be an important factor in attacking the Warriors' defense. The Pacers will need to be sure they aren't trading too many two-point field goals for three-pointers on the other end. Sabonis is a focal of the offense and produces well, but at times, relying too heavily on him can be a detriment.
3. Myles Turner's Impact
In the Pacers' previous meeting with the Warriors, Golden State made it a clear focus to pressure Domantas Sabonis in the post. Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon was struggling substantially to convert from the field.
What helped the Paces to produce enough offensive results to win was Myles Turner's contributions off the ball. Draymond Green was often ball watching and helping against the ball, which enabled Turner to have space to shoot and have clear lanes to cut. Turner finished with a team-most 22 points as a result.
It will be fascinating to see what the Warriors decide to emphasize defensively in this game. Sabonis will likely have ample opportunity to create shots for teammates and Turner could be a key beneficiary of doing so.