The Indiana Pacers will head to Wisconsin for an Eastern Conference battle with the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on Monday night. The two squads are heading in opposite directions with the visiting team trending down and the home team on the rise.
Once one of the top teams in the league, the Indiana Pacers have looked like a shell of themselves. They have lost eight of their last 12 games and are hoping that their back-to-back wins against the Miami Heat on Friday and Sunday point them in the right direction.
The red-hot Milwaukee Bucks have flown under the radar this season because of their early-season struggles. But they have won 11 of their last 12 games and will be looking to win their seventh straight when they take on the Indiana Pacers.
Fixture - Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks | 2020-21 NBA Season
Date & Time - Monday, March 22nd, 9:00 PM ET (Tuesday, March 23rd, 6:30 AM IST)
Venue - Milwaukee Bucks Arena, Phoenix, AZ
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers are hoping that their pair of wins versus the Heat over the weekend proves that they’ve turned the corner. In 15 of their 22 losses this campaign, they entered the second half with a lead only to see it dissipate. It’s a very concerning stat line, especially as it pertains to their ability to close out games.
The Heat are one of the worst scoring teams in the league and they get by with their tenacious work defensively. Not so with the Milwaukee Bucks, who are one of the top teams at both ends of the floor.
When they face a high-octane team like the Milwaukee Bucks, who score an average of 119.5 points per game, the Indiana Pacers will have to play smarter on the defensive end, more so in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long night once again for the Blue and Gold.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis has been in a bit of a slump lately. Over their last four games, including the wins over the Heat, he has only averaged 14.5 points and shot just 20 percent from three. In three of those games, he shot 5-of-11 twice and 5-of-13 in the other. Going back to the Indiana Pacers’ last 10 games, Sabonis has scored more than 20 points just twice.
While he has certainly upped his assists average during that stretch, the All-Star forward hasn’t exactly helped his team win more games by playing that way. The Indiana Pacers need him to be more of a scoring threat against the Milwaukee Bucks than he has been during the past several games.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G Malcolm Brogdon G Caris LeVert F Justin Holiday F Domantas Sabonis C Myles Turner
Milwaukee Bucks Preview
The Milwaukee Bucks won a season-high sixth straight contest after taking down the San Antonio Spurs 120-113 on Saturday. A seventh straight is not out of reach when they face the Indiana Pacers in the second of their five-game homestand.
They are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a 27-14 record but are just a game behind the second-place Brooklyn Nets and two games back of the first-place Philadelphia 76ers. Just a couple of losses from the top two teams would vault the Milwaukee Bucks to the top spot once again.
On the other, a loss to the Indiana Pacers tonight will set them back by a game, which is why tonight’s matchup is crucial to the Bucks’ run to the top this campaign.
Key Player - Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been silently yet forcefully pushing his name to the top of the 2020-21 MVP conversation. The reigning MVP is putting together one of his finest seasons ever and his performances have been nothing short of spectacular. Since Feb. 1, Antetokounmpo has been averaging 30.0 points, 11.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ record during that stretch? They are 16-6 and they’ve only gotten better as the season has progressed thanks to Antetokounmpo’s strong play.
On Monday, he will be matched up against the Indiana Pacers’ Domantas Sabonis who was a fellow All-Star and teammate on Team LeBron last month. The clash between the two players favors the Milwaukee Bucks star and it will be interesting to see if Sabonis will be able to contain Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee Bucks Predicted Lineup
G Jrue Holiday, G Donte DiVincenzo, F Khris Middleton, F Giannis Antetokounmpo, C Brook Lopez
Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks Match Prediction
The Indiana Pacers are traveling from Miami and will be playing their third game in four nights. They've been on the road in 13 of their last 17 games and will play a 14th when they visit Milwaukee. Fatigue will play a huge factor heading into Monday's matchup and it's particularly made more difficult because the Pacers' opponents are well-rested, on a roll and playing at home.
With the Milwaukee Bucks steamrolling over their foes, all signs point to a win for the home team and there’s no reason to expect a different outcome.
Where to Watch Pacers vs Bucks?
The Milwaukee Bucks vs Indiana Pacers game will be televised nationally by NBA TV and shown locally by FOX Sports Indiana and FOX Sports Wisconsin. International viewers can livestream the match on NBA League Pass.