Charlotte (14-10) at Indiana (12-12)
When: Monday, December 12th 2016
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: FSN Southeast, FSN Indiana
The first-place Charlotte Hornets continue their five-game road trip with a visit to Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Charlotte held Detroit and Orlando to 77 and 88 points respectively, but on the second night of a back-to-back, allowed 116 to Cleveland to drop the first game of the trip. Charlotte allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 57% from the field – more than 13% above their average allowed. The loss to Cleveland could have been worse as star guard Kemba Walker fell to the ground in obvious pain and had to be helped to the bench after colliding with LeBron James. Walker, who finished with 24 points, was diagnosed with a contusion and said he plans to play on Monday. Walker also had 24 points to go along with 10 assists in a 122-100 home win over Indiana on November 7th. Charlotte’s trip ends later this week with three games in four nights (Washington, Boston, Atlanta). The Hornets are two-games ahead of Atlanta in the Southeast Division.
The Pacers are trying to get out of the Central Division basement, but they’ve been trading wins and losses since November 27th and just ended a tough five-game road trip at 2-3. They came home from the trip with a nice 118-111 win over Portland on the second night of a back-to-back. Indiana star Paul George missed six of the final seven games in November while dealing with an ankle injury and came back strong and posted three straight 20-point games before exploding for a season-high 37 on Saturday in the win over the Blazers. George scored 13 of those points in the final 5:03 to put the win away. Forward Thaddeus Young hit a career-high six 3-pointers on Saturday en route to a season high-tying 24 points and the Pacers had five guys score double-digits including Al Jefferson’s 10 in just 15 minutes. Indiana will go back on the road for three straight beginning Wednesday in Miami.
Charlotte has not only won four straight meetings, but have covered the spread in each and six of the last seven. They’re a better overall team right now. I’ll take the points in this one and expect a close game.
Pick: Hornets +2.5