It’s a bit of a quieter day in the NBA on Thursday, but there is still a lot of action to be caught on TV. The games get started early with the international game in London set for the afternoon on NBATV. Once primetime rolls around, we have a doubleheader to look forward to on TNT. The opening game is a big Eastern Conference clash between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers. That is followed up by a late-night game that sees the ailing LA Lakers hit the road to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. Let’s take a closer look at these two games.
Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
The 76ers are currently occupying the #4 spot in the Eastern Conference, a game back of the Indiana Pacers. It has been tough for them to make up any ground on the leaders, with the top 4 teams in the East all on winning streaks right now. The 76ers come into this one on a modest 2-game winning streak, which takes them to 7-3 in their last 10 games. It has been home games that have helped the 76ers reach the #4 seed, and they would be a whole lot higher where they not a disappointing 10-12 on the road. The 76ers have only won once in their last 8 visits to Indiana.
The Pacers are a game ahead of the 76ers in the East and you have to like them to increase that lead in this one given that they have been great at home, going 15-5 in their own building. The have also been dominant against conference opponents, going 22-7 in those games. They have also been on a solid run of form, winning 2 in a row and 8 of their last 10 games. The Pacers have struggled a little versus teams with a winning record, going 9-11 in those outings.
This is probably the best match-up on the NBA schedule on Thursday, and I think we are in for a close one. I am on the Pacers to come away with the win.
Predicted Score: Philadelphia 76ers 100 | Indiana Pacers 107
Los Angeles Lakers at Oklahoma City Thunder
The LA Lakers are probably a little tired of hearing about their struggles without LeBron James in the line-up, but the reality is that they are doing very little to quell that chatter, going just 4-6 in their last 10 games. The Lakers are now in danger of slipping below the playoff line, with the Kings and Jazz on winning streaks that have pulled them close to LA. The Lakers have been better at home than on the road, going 9-12 away from home. They also have a losing record versus teams with a winning record.
The Thunder are currently sitting in the #3 spot in the Western Conference, but they are having a tough time closing the gap given that they are playing .500 ball over the last 10 games. As it stands now, they are just 3 ½ games out of the top spot, so they are still very much in the hunt. The Thunder have been good in their own building, going 14-6 at home, and they also have a positive 16-8 record versus teams with a winning record.
The Thunder already have a win over the Lakers this season and given the current injury woes that LA are dealing with, OKC should make it 2 in a row.
Predicted Score: Los Angeles Lakers 104 | Oklahoma City Thunder 111
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