Golden State Warriors vs. Indiana Pacers Pick 1/28/19
Golden State Warriors (35-14, 22-26-1 ATS) vs. Indiana Pacers (32-16, 24-23-1 ATS)
When: Monday, January 28th, 2019 – 7:00 pm ET
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
Point Spread: GSW -8.5/IND +8.5
Last Night in the NBA
Two wins in a row on a weekend in which I watched approximately zero minutes of NBA basketball is a strong contender for best achievement of 2019. I watch almost every 76ers game, so I’m very, very in tune with their strengths and flaws, but I think I might be the Thunder whisperer as well. As has been detailed many times, Russell Westbrook is my spirit animal, and we may have a bit of twin telepathy going on. Keep doing you, Russ. Our wallets thank you.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Luka’s second career triple-double wasn’t enough to dethrone the North, Cleveland won (and thus lost) the first Dyin’ For Zion Bowl of 2019, James Harden did some things again, and Gregg Popovich called a timeout 16 seconds into the game when his team went down 2-0. I love him so much. Never retire.
We have a small, ugly slate on tap for Monday night’s NBA schedule, and I won’t blame you if you hop on over to ESPN to check out the Blue Devils take on the Fighting Irish. But if like myself, you’re more NBA-inclined (or Bachelor-inclined, since my wife will have control of the TV), there may be a bit of intrigue in Indiana. Victor Oladipo is a potential Ewing Theory candidate, but the red-hot Warriors are favored by 8.5-points on the road with the total set to a sensational 225.5 points. Hereeeeeee’s Boogie!
Stay Golden, Boogie Boy
Oh boy. With ten consecutive wins under their belt, the Warriors are starting to form their NBA version of Voltron (did I use that reference right, nerds? I don’t know who I’m kidding – none of the 10 people reading this knows what that is). Steph, Klay, and Draymond won 73 out of 82 games – now we’ve added Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to that team. I’ve gone ahead and forecasted what their 34th consecutive victory would be in this streak, and it’s a Sunday night game in Detroit. Something tells me that game won’t be the game that breaks this theoretical camels’ back.
To get to win number 34, you have to get win number 11, and they have a good chance of doing so on Monday night. Victor Oladipo had transformed himself into one of the better two-way guards in the NBA, and it’s sad to see him go down with such a horrible injury. Get better soon, Dipo.
The Warriors have been on a tear over the last 10 games, and the incorporation of Boogie has been concerningly smooth. The gap between them and the league’s next-best offense is beginning to widen, and with a couple of blowouts, they’ll be inching back towards their historically-great point differential. Indiana’s defense is sound and smart, but Oladipo was a major part of that, and allowing 106 points to the Grizzlies wasn’t a great look on Saturday. Breaking news: The Warriors have more offensive talent than the Grizzlies. Unless the Warriors come out and lay an egg through lack of effort or fatigue, I like their chances at pouring the points on a decimated team. Sorry, Indiana.
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In their first game without Victor Oladipo, Indiana’s offense featured a little bit too much Darren Collison and Bojan Bogdanovic for my liking. To seriously stay competitive amongst the Eastern Conference elite, there is going to need to be more opportunities for Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. Indiana’s guards would be a sub-par unit at the local YMCA, let alone on an NBA court, and it would be wise of Nate McMillan to retool his offense around a bully-ball style of play. With their stout defensive presence (2nd in the NBA by Defensive Rating) and slow pace (ranked 23rd), we might be staring at the Grizzlies of the East. Yikes.
To take down the champs, the Pacers have a lot of work to do. With their 18-6 record at home, Indiana has shown the ability to defend their home court. Unfortunately, Victor Oladipo isn’t walking through those doors any time soon, and we’re now staring at a team featuring zero All-NBA candidates versus…a team with not zero All-NBA candidates.
All is not lost, however. The Warriors have long been affected by big-bodied rebounders, and Indiana employs a couple of those. Even without Dipo, they have solid defenders at all five positions. Most importantly, the Warriors are playing their fifth road game in a row, and we can’t rule out the possibility that they completely and utterly punt on this game. Stranger things have happened.
All of the above is true, but I think that the Warriors are rejuvenated by the Boogie addition. During the waning years of the LeBron Heat, they looked lifeless, and then a 27-game win streak reinvigorated them. I think that this is what we’re in the midst of now, and I’m not sure that Golden State is looking to take it easy. To be honest, they aren’t really stretching their provisions that much. Steph and KD can trade off good games with each other and find spots to rest within games. Klay dribbles more during warm-ups than he does during games, and Draymond hasn’t even looked at the rim in two months. Indiana rallying around their fallen leader and taking down the champs would be an excellent little storyline, and I wouldn’t be completely floored if they kept it close or won outright. But I’m a narrative guy, and I think that for the time being, the Warriors are too. It’s either Steph or Klay’s turn to get hot, and this one should be over before it begins.