Bucks v Pacers
The Indiana Pacers will be making a trip to the Fiserv Forum to face the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks in one of the most interesting NBA ties. The Bucks recently lost two consecutive games for the first time so far this season. They will now be welcoming the Pacers to their home court and will be looking to bounce back following their recent slip-ups. Despite a string of recent defeats, the Bucks will enter this game as the favourites to come out as winners.
After acquiring a severe leg injury during the match against the Toronto Raptors in January, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is unfortunately reported to miss out on the remaining duration of the season. However, Indiana don’t look like they’re struggling with Oladipo’s absence and are still one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. It should be noted that they perform better with Oladipo included in the starting five though.
Furthermore, the Indiana Pacers were able to keep their place on the top-four in the East over the previous weeks. The Pacers will be entering this game fresh off a 105-96 win against the Chicago Bulls. However, they will be put to test when they take on the Giannis-led Bucks on Friday. The Pacers will need to secure a victory and cruise past Giannis Antetokounmpo if they want to prevent the Bucks from claiming the season series for the second time in the previous three seasons.
The Milwaukee Bucks, on the other hand, are still at the top of the Eastern Conference standings as well as the team holding the league’s best record. The Bucks will enter this game off the back of two losses to Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns. With this, they will definitely be looking forward in securing the victory against the Indiana Pacers to pick themselves back up and prove themselves mighty.
Trail Blazers v Thunder
A pair of Western rivals will be looking to claim the upper hand on the Western standings. The Oklahoma City Thunder will be paying a visit to the Moda Center to take on the Portland Trail Blazers for their NBA clash. Both teams are currently hold a record of 39-25 and are tied at the third spot along with the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference table. Both teams are on the back off recent defeats with Oklahoma City losing on the road to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Portland to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were on fire this season, being one of the hottest teams in the NBA league during their 12-game undefeated run, winning 11 games. As of now, they cooled off with six defeats in their previous 8 games and will be looking to bounce back when they face the Trail Blazers on Friday. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists. Paul George also contributed 25 points after returning from a three-game absence.
The Portland Trail Blazers, on the other hand, have definitely been in an impressive shape lately. They were able to claim the victory in six of their previous eight games. They will be entering this match with the hopes of adding their seventh victory to the tally as well as making up for their 120-111 defeat to the Grizzlies in midweek.
Portland will be entering their NBA showdown against Oklahoma as the favourites to come out as winner. Apart from having the home court advantage, their form has definitely been building up as evident in their previous performances lately with the exception of their lost to Memphis. However, Oklahoma shouldn’t be underestimated though since they will be led by Russell Westbrook and MVP-contender Paul George.
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