January 12, 2024, 5:27 pm
Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks
Game Time: 7:40 pm ET
IND +5.5 (-108), ATL -5.5 (-112)
Game Total 251.5
Hamstrung? Since losing sure All-Star-to-be Tyrese Halliburton to a multi-week hamstring injury on Monday night, the Pacers have beaten the Celtics and Wizards. But will they have enough in the tank to outlast the Hawks? The Pacers are leading the league in scoring, putting up 126 per game, but the Hawks aren’t far behind, currently third in the league with 122 per game. Over the last three, the Hawks are holding strong at 121, but the Pacers have dipped to just 115.
New Hawk in the Sky – Jalen Johnson has been making his case as the league’s most improved player, flirting with triple-doubles and flashing aggressive, athletic defense. Will he continue his recent spate of star-making performances against the undermanned Pacers, or will he fall back into the role of a supporting player? With Clint Capela out last game, Johnson dominated the boards but he may not be as active tonight with Capela probable. If Johnson doesn’t come out of the gates blistering hot, the Hawks may rely more on established stars Trae Young, Dejounte Murray, and Capela, and look to be more balanced overall.
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Stream of the Game
A combination of T.J. McConnell and Andrew Nembhard will fill in at the point for Halliburton. Nembhard started the last game, but McConnell was more productive per minute and has the higher ceiling. Bennedict Mathurin may have to fill in some of the missing scoring punch. He can hit threes in bunches when hot, but like many streaky shooters, he can also disappoint.
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