The Indiana Pacers will take on the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana on Tuesday in a battle of teams jockeying for a better seeding in the Eastern Conference play-in. The Pacers had been looking good earlier this season when they were hovering around the fourth or fifth seed, but then they went on a rough ride of eight losses in ten games that saw them freefall down the standings.
Because of their close proximity to each other in the standings, however, this one could be a tough matchup to make a pick on. These types of games are the toughest to bet because they are essentially a coin toss before tip-off, but there is no shame in looking for help with your NBA picks. BetPicks.ca is a great place to find assistance to find the best NBA picks, bets, and parlays, especially when it comes to marquee matchups and tough-to-call clashes.
The Pacers have been able to bounce back somewhat from that little rut, winning four of their past six contests. However, the last time they took on the Bulls they lost, and that was before Chicago made arguably the biggest deal of this season’s trade deadline.
In one of the first few deals made on deadline day, the tanking Orlando Magic shipped stalwart big man and two-time All Star Nikola Vucevic to Chicago for a big package that included youngster Wendell Carter Jr., forward Otto Porter Jr., and a pair of second-round picks, per ESPN. In Vucevic the Bulls have found themselves one of the most consistently productive big men in the league.
The big Montenegrin has been a double-double machine over the past few years, averaging at least 19 points and 10 rebounds per game over the past four seasons. He seems not to have skipped a beat in the Windy City, putting up 21 points and nine boards in his first two appearances in the red threads.
Indiana does seem singularly equipped to handle Vucevic and his inside-outside offensive arsenal thanks to the best shot blocker in the league, Myles Turner. Turner has been going through a bit of an offensive lull recently but his defense never lacks. He has swatted at least three shots in each of his last five games, a stretch during which he’s averaged 4.8 blocks and the Pacers have gone 4-1.
That matchup should excite Pacers fans, but Zach LaVine might be a tougher weapon to keep under wraps for Indiana. Since Vooch arrived, LaVine has been in a rut, scoring under 20 points in back-to-back games. He hasn’t scored under 20 in three straight games all season so we’d expect a bounce back from the two-time Slam Dunk champ sooner rather than later.
It is also worth mentioning that LaVine was one of the most excited guys when Vucevic’s trade was announced, saying he “always wanted to play with a dominant big,” according to NBA.com. Obviously, these two are still working out the kinks of their relationship on the floor, but doubtless two players as offensively gifted as Vooch and LaVine won’t take too long to figure out a way to maximize each other’s talents.
If you’re going to make an NBA pick on this Eastern Conference clash, we would suggest going with the Bulls to come out of this bad stretch and show why they need to be taken seriously in the East with their new and improved roster.