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NBA Starting Lineups and Match Prediction - Indiana Pacers vs Denver Nuggets

Shubham Pant
ANALYST
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700   //    16 Mar 2019, 09:36 IST

Nikola Jokic needs to step up for the Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic needs to step up for the Denver Nuggets

Match Details:

Denver Nuggets (45-22) vs Indiana Pacers (44-25)

March 17th 2019, 6:30am IST

Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

Head to head (Regular season):

Matches played: 88 games

Indiana Pacers: 44 games

Denver Nuggets: 44 games

Match Overview:

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The Indiana Pacers travel to face the Denver Nuggets in the Pepsi Center in Denver in a really tough game for them. The Pacers are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference, keeping themselves in the top 4 contention even without star guard Victor Oladipo. They have a 44-25 record and have won 5 of their last 10 games. They are on a 2 game winning streak and will look to continue it against the Nuggets.

The Denver Nuggets have been one of the best teams in the league and are currently 2nd in the loaded Western Conference. The Nuggets have been struggling of late, winning just 6 of their last 10 games, but recently have been better and are on a 2 game winning streak as well.

In their last game, the Indiana Pacers overcame a really tough matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, beating them with a last minute 108-106 win.

The Denver Nuggets played the Dallas Mavericks in their most recent game and won with a Nikola Jokic buzzer beater, 100-99.

Injuries:

Denver Nuggets: Forwards Torrey Craig and Trey Lyles are considered day to day with a shoulder injury and a hamstring injury respectively. Rookie Michael Porter Jr. is still out indefinitely with a back injury.

Indiana Pacers: Guard Tyreke Evans and forward Alize Johnson are considered day to day while guard Victor Oladipo is out for the season with a knee injury.

Players to watch out for:

Indiana Pacers: Bojan Bogdanovic

The Indiana Pacers have been heavily reliant on him
The Indiana Pacers have been heavily reliant on him

Bojan Bogdanovic was one of the most efficient shooters in the NBA and was always a great role player for the Oladipo-led Pacers. But when Oladipo went down for the season, Bogdanovic, who was already having a great year, stepped up and has become the #1 offensive option for this Pacers team.

He has exceeded expectations and does not show any signs of slowing down. He is averaging a career-high 17.8 points per game, along with a career-high 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists a game. He was never a great defender and the rest of the Pacers have handled the defensive assignments while Bogdanovic has gone off on the offensive end and kept them in the hunt for the playoffs, something nobody expected once Oladipo went down.

They need him to keep playing at this level if the Pacers want to keep homecourt advantage and more so against an opponent like the Pacers.

Last game stats: 23 points, 7-16 FG, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 TOs against the Oklahoma City Thunder

Denver Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic has been the spearhead behind the surge of the Denver Nuggets this season. He has led this team from the front and has been playing lights out. He has led the team both offensively and defensively as well and has made sure that the Nuggets do not fall far behind the top spot and he has done exactly that as they are just 1 game back.

Jokic has been enjoying a career year, featuring in many MVP conversations as he is averaging 20.2 points per game, along with 10.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists. He has been one of the ball handling centers that are revolutionizing the game and he is doing it the best among them all.

His defense has improved too as he is averaging 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks a game as well. He has to become more authoritative on the offensive end as he has taken double-digit shots in just 2 of his last 4 games, something that needs to be done more often by him.

The Nuggets need him to perform at his very best and need him to break out of this mini-slump he has been on as they try and solidify their place in the Western Conference, starting with the game against the Pacers.

Last game stats: 11 points, 4-9 FG, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block and 2 TOs against the Dallas Mavericks

Predicted starting lineup:

Denver Nuggets: Jamal Murray (G), Gary Harris (G), Will Barton (F), Paul Millsap (F), Nikola Jokic (C)

Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison (G), Wes Matthews (G), Bojan Bogdanovic (F), Thaddeus Young (F), Myles Turner (C)

Match prediction: Denver Nuggets to beat the Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets, both are currently in form, with 2 games won in a row and will be looking to take it to 3 games in a row. But with the squad depth that the Denver Nuggets possess and the superior star power, they will be able to overcome a hardworking Indiana Pacers team in a really close tie. This could be an upset but the chances are the Nuggets will win this one.

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