The NBA regular season is now down to its final month. While there are still a lot of games on the schedule, every win counts. Thursday night has several tough contests lined up, and fans and bettors have a lot to think about.
Pacers Look For Stability
The Indiana Pacers will have their second game in a row at home, now colliding with the Houston Rockets. The irregularity of the Pacers in recent games made the team move away from access to the play-in tournament as they added two losses in three games. The most recent was against the Philadelphia 76ers (147-143), but Coach Rick Carlisle made changes to various aspects of his strategy to find better results.
The Rockets were adding some victories, but not enough to leave the bottom of the Western Conference standings. In their last game, they were surpassed by the Brooklyn Nets (118-96) following a very bland performance. Jalen Green was the most relevant, with 25 points in total, while Alperen Şengün had 16. He stood out in rebounds, with 12, but the Rockets still need to make improvements.
The Pacers are emerging as favorites in this match, given their best position in the standings and the regular results obtained. However, despite being the bottom team, the Rockets will not give up and will seek to add a visit to get closer to a play-in appearance.
The Bucks Continue Their Reign
The Milwaukee Bucks visited the Orlando Magic last Tuesday and won 134-123. They have added four wins in their last five appearances and, with that win, two in a row. Overall, the Bucks are sitting at 47-18 in the Eastern Conference, maintaining their lead over the Boston Celtics.
The Brooklyn Nets visited the Houston Rockets last Tuesday and won 118-96, leading to three straight wins. They stand at 37-28 losses in the Eastern, reaching sixth position in the overall standings.
The Bucks are a dynamic and vertical team by nature. For this reason, they can handle almost anything that comes their way and have no trouble putting up 110 and 120 points. The Nets are a combative squad but are also somewhat limited in attack after the departure of the Kyrie Irving-Kevin Durant duo.
As a result, the Nets can’t be as productive on offense. However, this game still promises to be an even duel to a certain extent, although favorable to the Bucks due to their greater explosive force.
Lakers Look For Three
This game isn’t until tomorrow, but it’s worth talking about now. The Los Angeles Lakers want their third consecutive win at home, this time going up against the Toronto Raptors Friday night. The improvement of the Lakers has been evident, since they are now ninth and within the play-in zone. After coming this far, they do not want to be left empty-handed as they were in the previous season.
The Raptors also have the same mission in the Eastern Conference and must end their losing streak of two consecutive losses. They dropped against the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Clippers, both as visitors. In the last match, Scott Barnes and Pascal Siakam were the protagonists as a whole, with 20 points each. However, it has not been enough, and they must do better tonight if the Raptors want to avoid slipping further.
This is another evenly-matched contest, but the Lakers have more individual variants to make a difference, despite the absence of LeBron James. However, if they get D’Angelo Russell back, they’ll be in better shape. Should that happen, the Lakers have a clear path to the win.