The Indiana Pacers (22-28) enter tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves (13-38) on the second day of a back-to-back. The Pacers fell to Chicago 113-97 last night as they struggled to contain Nikola Vucevic. The Pacers,who started the game without Domantas Sabonis (ankle) and Malcolm Brogden (hip), lost Myles Turner in the third quarter with an ankle injury. Caris LeVert led Indiana with 20 points and six boards. Edmond Sumner and Jeremy Lamb each scored 15 points. The loss was Indiana’s ninth in their last 10 home games.
Minnesota hasn’t won often this season, but they are coming off a 116-106 win over Sacramento. D'Angelo Russell scored 25 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns recorded a 23 point, 13 rebound double double. Anthony Edwards added 19 points.
This will be the final regular season meeting between the Pacers and Wolves. Indiana won the first meeting on February 17 134-128 in overtime. Sabonis led the Pacers with 36 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. Malcolm Brogden scored 32 for the Pacers. Malik Beasley led the Timberwolves with 31 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns scored 30 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
On the injury front, Indiana is going to be without Sabonis, Brodgen, and Turner in this game. That is a combined 45 points per game and 22.6 rebounds per game. Malik Beasley and Jaylen Nowell are out for the Timberwolves.
Timberwolves Have Golden Opportunity Against Shorthanded PacersThe Minnesota Timberwolves have a chance to have a winning streak, which has not happened often this season. Instead of being the shorthanded team, the Timberwolves will be the healthier of the teams, especially given the return of D'Angelo Russell, who just returned from knee surgery.
The Timberwolves are 28th in effective field goal percentage (50.9%), 17th in turnover percentage (12.4%), 18th in offensive rebounding percentage (22.1%), and 21st in free throws per field goal attempt (.182). Karl-Anthony Towns leads the Wolves with 24.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 4.3 apg, and 1.5 bpg. D’Angelo Russell, who has only played six games with Karl-Anthony Towns this season, has averaged 19.5 ppg and 5.0 apg while hitting 40.6% from beyond the arc.. Anthony Edwards has averaged 17.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 2.6 apg.
Defensively, Minnesota is ranked 25th in opponent’s effective field goal percentage of 54.8%. The Wolves are 11th in the league in defensive turnover percentage (13.2%), 28th in the league in defensive rebounding percentage (76.1%), and 26th in the league in opponent’s free throw per field goal attempt (.221).
Pacers Dealing With A Ton of Injuries At a Tough TimeThe Indiana Pacers looked like a team that could make a playoff run when the second half of the season started, but then injuries have taken a huge toll on Indiana’s key players. Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, and Myles Turner represent a significant loss on the offensive end. Now, the Pacers will rely on Caris LeVert to carry the team offensively. LeVert has scored 15.9 ppg this season, adding 4.1 rpg and 4.6 apg. Doug McDermott has averaged 13.3 ppg while hitting 38.6% from beyond the arc.
Offensively, the Pacers are 12th in the NBA in effective field goal percentage (54.1%), 14th in turnover percentage (12.3%), 22nd in offensive rebounding percentage (20.2%), and 22nd in free throws per field goal attempts (.179). Defensively, Indiana is 13th in opponent’s effective field goal percentage (53.6%), sixth in opponent turnover percentage (13.6%), 25th in defensive rebounding percentage (76.2%), and 22nd in opponent’s free throws per field goal attempts (.201).
- Indiana: Pacers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Indiana: Pacers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Minnesota: Timberwolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Minnesota: Timberwolves are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.