The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for a Western Conference showdown between in-form pair the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
11:00 (AEDT), Wed 6th Oct @ Spectrum Center, Charlotte
History: Played 110: Pacers 66 V Hornets 44
Last meeting: February 11, 2019: Pacers 99 d Hornets 90 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Final Thoughts: The Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers both head into this intriguing match-up on a roll and with identical 3-3 records.
The Hornets lost three straight to in-form trio the Timberwolves, Lakers and Clippers. But they have bounced back over the past week with victories over the Kings (118-111) and Warriors (93-87) on the road.
Big man Cody Zeller has been a monster on the boards, averaging 12.4 rebounds. Back-court duo Dwayne Bacon and Terry Rozier combined for 45 points against Golden State as the Hornets move into the post-Kemba Walker era.
Indiana dropped their first three games in unimpressive fashion but have won three straight. The Pacers accounted for the Nets away (118-108), before winning back-to-back at home against the Cavaliers (102-95) and Bulls (108-95).
The Pacers are battling on without key man Victor Oladipo, who is not due back until December. They put away the Bulls despite the absence of Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 21.8 points and 11.4 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon has been a fine addition, putting up 22.5 points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds a night.
Ten of the last 12 Hornets-Pacers encounters were won by the home team. The Pacers have won just one of their last six in Charlotte and went down 127-109 in the sole clash at Spectrum Center last season.
The Pacers won convincingly twice in Indianapolis later in the campaign.
Sabonis is likely big in for the Pacers. Little separates these sides stats-wise, though the Hornets’ outside shooting has been significantly better. And at home, Charlotte are hard to ignore as the underdog in what should be a close-fought contest.
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