NBA Pick Recap, Indiana -9.5 @ Memphis- Win

Yesterday I wrote about why I liked the Pacers to cover the -9.5 spread against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. My main points were that Memphis already played the day before on the road, and they were without their best player, along with a couple other key pieces. My argument against the pick was that it is simply difficult winning on the road, let alone by double digits, no matter who you are playing. Still, I firmly believed that the Pacers roster continuity and relatively good health in comparison to the Grizz was going to be enough for them to cover against an incredibly shorthanded Memphis squad. While Indiana didn’t have much trouble with this one, I do want to make one note in regards to an observation I made while watching this game. As you know, there are plenty of variables and (or) factors that go in to projecting the outcome of a sporting event. I mentioned it is hard to win on the road, but why is it hard to win on the road? I could list a bunch of reasons, but one obstacle that the Pacers had to notably overcome last night? A weak crowd. Yup, kinda ironic right? Normally you’d think it would be more difficult with an amped up crowd making a bunch of noise all game, BUT, we must also be aware of how empty arenas can impact basketball players. As I was watching, I started to get worried about how seriously Indiana would take Memphis, with no crowd support, and a plethora of injuries. NOT ALL GAMES ARE CREATED EQUAL. Players are more motivated to play in the bigger games, so I was worried that the intensity might be lacking and it created some doubt with my pick, for sure! But because of all those injuries and having to play two straight days playing on the road 24 hours ago, the Pacers had the better starters, the better bench, and were consistent enough to finish the deal. Another important note, I made this pick before the news of Jonas Valanciunas being out with an illness. He was listed as questionable at the time I made the pick, but my belief was that IF he were to play, he would not be entirely 100%, potentially hurting his team more than he would’ve helped them. The Pacers are a playoff team already and they don’t even have their best player. Memphis can’t really win much WITH their best player. Two teams going in opposite directions to say the least. Stay tuned as more NBA picks will be coming, and NCAA basketball picks will start being released within the next week or two, depending on how I feel about my research. Final Score: Pacer 117 Grizzlies 104

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