When: 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, IN
How to watch: Fox Sports Southeast, NBA League Pass
Tonight will be the third and final time the Hornets take on the Pacers. The series is currently tied at a game apiece with both teams winning convincingly on their home floor. This one is in Indiana, so the Pacers have the edge there.
This is the first time the Hornets will take on the Pacers since they lost superstar Victor Oladipo to a season ending quadriceps injury. The Pacers wavered in the games immediately following the injury, but have caught fire since. They’ve won five games in a row, including back to back maulings of the two Los Angeles teams on the very same floor on which tonight’s game will be played.
Bojan Bogdanovic has stepped up as the team’s leading scorer in Oladipo’s absence. Since the injury, Bogdanovic is averaging 21.1 points per game while shooting 51.1% from the field and 41.8% from three. Myles Turner and Darren Collison have upped their scoring as well.
The Pacers are still winning with defense. Even during their five game winning streak, they’ve only posted the league’s 13th best offensive rating. However, their defense has been the best in the league by 6.3 points per possession. They’re clamping up.
The Hornets have started to show some signs of life on the road, though they still aren’t wear they should be. If they can bring their hot shooting from Atlanta, they have a chance to outscore the Pacers clunky offense. A win will put the Hornets at .500 with a visit to Steve Clifford’s Orlando Magic as the only thing between them and the All Star break.