The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for an Eastern Conference match-up between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers.
11:00 (AEDT) @ Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
History: Played 197: 76ers 108 V Pacers 89
Last meeting: December 31, 2019: Pacers 115 d 76ers 97 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Final Thoughts: The Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers are both looking to put patchy recent form aside and keep up with the Eastern Conference’s pacesetters.
The 25-15 Sixers sit fifth in the East, with the 24-15 Pacers one spot back.
The Pacers have won only four of their last 10 games. After a 14-point home loss to the Heat, Myles Turner (27 pts, 14 reb) led them to a 116-105 road win over the Bulls on the weekend.
Key man Domantas Sabonis missed the trip to Chicago and is listed as questionable to take on the 76ers.
The Sixers have won just two of their last seven. They stopped a four-game slide with solid home wins over the Thunder and Celtics, Josh Richardson top-scoring in both.
But they were pumped 109-91 in Dallas in their last outing. Joel Embiid has missed the last two games with a handy injury and is still weeks away from a return. The 76ers need the oft-maligned Ben Simmons to step up and make it his team.
Honours shared this season
Philadelphia have won four of their last six against Indiana, but the teams’ two clashes so far this season have been split one apiece.
Joel Embiid (32 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl) spearheaded a 119-116 Sixers home win in late-November. Embiid was sidelined as the Pacers responded with a 115-97 result in Indianapolis on New Year’s Eve. Sabonis had 23 points 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
The absence of Embiid and Sabonis should effectively cancel each other out in the context of this game. Meanwhile, the Pacers are an imposing 15-5 at home and the Sixers are a dismal 7-13 on the road.
Great value to be had on the underdog hosts here.
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