Indiana have won three straight. But it’s not sacrilegious, it’s silly to get excited about a series like this (have you seen the opponents?). Moreover, the Pacers’ fate so far has been the playoffs as the ultimate opportunity. Then there’s the matchup with an enraged Portland, which has lost several games in a row and fallen out of the playoff zone. Can the Pacers handle it? They don’t want all of Oklahoma and Detroit.
Indiana are not real
Somehow it is hard to believe that the team from Indianapolis is really a team now. With common goals, mutual support, and the like. No, no one seems to argue with anyone anymore, but at the same time, everyone seems to be for himself - they work out the time necessary under the contract and go home.
It’s surprising, considering how strong the Pacers’ roster is, if you look at it, but at the same time it’s also understandable - again, a big hello to the Indiana managers. It would be hard to find a better coach than Nate Bjorkgren. There are very few questions to that coach, he’s under a lot of pressure. Likely the decision-makers were very impressed with Bjorkgren’s title with Toronto. The fact that he was an assistant coach (well, not a head coach, no, an assistant) apparently didn’t seem like a big deal to the front office.
It is quite possible that Bjorkgren will become an excellent head coach in the future, but it is somehow strange to demand a result from him now. We wanted the result, so we took out Nate McMillan. Yes, he was consistently eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, almost always 0-4, but Indiana at least have been there every year.
What happened to Portland?
The Trail Blazers have five straight losses and only two wins in their last 11 games. And there’s not much of a letdown - Terry Stotts’ team has just started to lose endings time after time. Surprisingly, you can see why. But maybe Lillard is just tired. Sort of like Norman Powell was taken to relieve the leader as much as possible. But in fact - once again, Damian does everything himself, no one dares to take over at the most important moments, the offense becomes predictable, and Lillard, instead of resting, only gets a more difficult life.
It goes without saying that after a disappointing stretch, Portland rolled back in the standings. Only to fall back to seventh place, though - only 1 win behind Oregon’s Dallas, who also has a hell of a lot of nonsense. By all appearances, the Western Conference top 6 will be determined by the very end of the regular season. All the more interesting.
Expert Betting Tips
The first face-off of the season ended in a win for the Pacers, but there Oregon played back-to-back games. The situation is different now. Portland clearly fell short of their wins, losing three times in 10 days by 1 point. It was also minus 2 from Memphis. It’s time for the Trail Blazers to pull themselves together and win. Better, as reliably as possible - it’ll add to the confidence. The Pacers can win on individual skill, but this isn’t an Orlando game. Unfortunately, Indiana does not have any other strong points. The prediction is a win for Portland with a negative handicap and a good TO.
- Portland win with a handicap (-3.5) with odds of about 1.90;
- Portland win and TO 233.5 in about 2.40;
- Portland’s individual TO 119.0 with odds of 1.90.