The Indiana Pacers travel West on Friday night to take on the Utah Jazz in what is an important game for each team. Indiana is trying to lock up a playoff spot in the East, and the Utah Jazz are looking to hold on to the top overall seed.
Indiana comes into this game having won four of their last five games, and this hot streak couldn’t have come at a better time. The bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race is full of teams, but the Pacers are trying to earn that final spot.
Utah enters Friday night with the best record in the NBA at 41-14. The Jazz have gone just 3-3 in their last six games, but this has been a dream season for Quinn Snyder’s team.
The Utah Jazz are 9.5-point favorites over the Indiana Pacers in this matchup on Friday night.
Pacers at Jazz Preview and Pick: Pacers Want to Play Fast
Indiana has made some interesting roster moves throughout the 2020-21 season, and it has affected the way they play games each night. The Pacers are scoring nearly 114 points per game, but they are also giving up just as many points on the defensive end of the floor.
The addition of Caris LeVert has brought some huge dividends to the Pacers as he is capable of taking over a game at any time. Indiana has been an above-average three-point shooting team this season, and that will play a key role in this matchup.
Malcolm Brogdon leads the team with more than 21 points per game, and he has flourished since joining the Pacers roster. All-Star Domanas Sabonis has been a double-double machine, but keeping him healthy has been a challenge.
Indiana has struggled at times to get stops, and that will need to be corrected as the season moves along and the playoffs begin.
Pacers at Jazz Preview and Pick: Jazz Just Don’t Make Mistakes
The Utah Jazz doesn’t have an MVP candidate on the roster, and they won’t make highlight plays every night. Utah just simply does everything extremely well, and they are outscoring teams by an average of nine points per game.
Utah is lead by Donovan Mitchell and his 26.5 points per game, but this team has a number of other All-Star caliber players. Mike Conley leads this team with nearly six assists per game, and he is also able to score some points when needed.
The Jazz are one of the best defensive teams in the league, and center Rudy Gobert sets the tone for Utah on that end of the floor. Again, the Jazz doesn’t have any big names on this roster, but they know how to play as a team to get stops when needed.
Pacers at Jazz Preview and Pick
This game has the potential to have plenty of points scored as both teams are in the top-11 in the league in terms of scoring average. Utah has been great on offense all season long, while the Pacers have been red-hot of late.
Utah has a huge edge on the defensive end of the floor, and this is going to play a key role in this matchup at some point. Indiana has been a tough team to stop, but the Jazz have been able to slow down the best teams in the NBA.
With the playoffs quickly approaching, there is simply no time to take any games off, and this should be a battle in Salt Lake City.
Utah will win this game at home, but don’t expect the Indiana Pacers to make this easy on the Jazz. Take the Indiana Pacers +9.5 in what should be a great and competitive game on Friday night.
Utah Jazz 117
Indiana Pacers 110
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