We’re about to discover what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.
Can the Pacers (44-26, 17-17 away), who have the third best defensive rating in the NBA, slow down the Clippers (41-30, 22-13 home), who have the league’s 10th best offensive rating? We’ll find out soon, as tip off time for this highly anticipated contest is 10:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 19 at Staples Center.
The Clippers haven’t had any problem scoring this year. They’re averaging 114.7 points per game on 45.0% shooting from the field and 39.0% from behind the three-point line. Los Angeles ranks second in field goal percentage and second in three-point percentage in the NBA. They’ve gotten big efforts all year from Lou Williams, who is chipping in 20.4 points per game.
Their defense is another matter altogether. Los Angeles is surrendering 113.7 points per contest and ranks 17th in field goals allowed and 8th in three-pointers allowed. They’ll need to be more conscientious tonight to have any chance of pulling out a win.
Great defense is the foundation on which the Pacers are built. They rank first in fewest points allowed at 103.9 points per game, and are holding opponents to just 45.0% from the field and 36.0% from beyond the arc. Indiana uses its size and length to force 16 turnovers per game and is 24th in the league in rebounding at 43.0 per contest.
Unfortunately, Indiana has a way to go before its offense catches up to its outstanding defense. The Pacers are generating 108.0 points on 45.0% shooting from the floor and 37.0% from deep. They’re 24th in rebounds and eighth in dimes.
These two teams have already met once this season. The last time they played on February 8th, 2019, Indiana won 116-92 behind 29 points from Bojan Bogdanovic.
The Clippers are fresh off of a 116-119 win against the Nets in Brooklyn in which they shot 12 for 31 from deep and won the war on the glass 64-61. The Pacers are fresh off a 100-102 loss versus the Nuggets in Denver in which they dished out 20 assists and came up with six swipes. Thaddeus Young led the team with 18 points.
The Clippers began the day as 5.0-point favorites for this match up, with a generous over/under total of 219. Indiana is 36-34-0 against the spread this season and 29-41-0 over/under, compared to 40-31-0 ATS and 38-33-0 over/under for Los Angeles.