Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers NBA Preview 2/6/2022

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers NBA Preview 2/6/2022

NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers NBA Preview 2/6/2022

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Jason Miller/Getty Images

Amid trade rumors, the Indiana Pacers head to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers with tip-off scheduled for 6pm EST. The Pacers come into this matchup with a record of 19-35 and have lost two straight games. They are only 6-20 on the road this season and are clearly on the downtrend around the association. As for Cleveland, they come in 32-21 on the season which is good for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. They are 16-9 at home this year and are 7-3 overall in their last ten contests. Cleveland has been one of the surprise teams this season with them being one of the better teams around the league. This will be the second meeting between these two teams, as Cleveland took the first game by a score of 108-104. They will meet two more times after today so the Cavaliers can at least force a split of the season series with a win today.

How Indiana can win: Indiana comes in having lost 16 of 21 overall and need to try and stop the bleeding. Against a good Cavs team, it will be difficult, but the Pacers have shown they can take down some of the better teams on any given night. Forward Caris LeVert has been a bright spot for the Pacers this season, averaging 18.7 points per game this season. He has been in the rumor mile of late, with the Cavaliers being interested in potentially acquiring his services so this could be an addition game for LeVert. Along with LeVert, rookie Chris Duarte has been a nice pickup for Indiana, with him averaging 13.1 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. The Pacers will need these two to take on some of the scoring load this game if they want to take down the strong defensive Cavaliers.

The Pacers come into this game banged-up with some key pieces missing the game, so it’ll take a total team effort to win. If they can win the rebounding battle, it could give them a potential edge in the matchup. The Pacers are averaging 109.2 points on 45.8 percent shooting and are allowing 111.1 points on 47 percent shooting. Against a strong defensive team like Cleveland, the Pacers will need to make sure they take advantage of any easy points given to them. If they can draw some fouls in this game and get free throw attempts, it could be a key to the game.

How Cleveland can win: Cleveland has backed their success behind both veteran and young players which has resulted in a strong mixture for the team. Forward Kevin Love has had a really good season for the Cavs, averaging 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while being a veteran leader for this young team. Love had been in trade talks over the last few seasons but has worked his way into a strong presence for this team and the results have shown on court. Alongside Love has been two really solid pieces for Cleveland in rookie Evan Mobley and guard Darius Garland. Mobley has had a strong rookie season thus far, averaging 15 points and 8.2 rebounds a game. He has taken on the role of the anchor of this defense and is an absolute problem for opposing teams at the rim. Garland, earned his first All-Star game appearance with his play this season, averaging 19.8 points and 8.2 assists per game. The Indiana native has stepped up his game this season and it has been a nice boost for Cleveland, making them a real threat in the Eastern Conference. Garland is listed as questionable for this matchup but if he can go, it would give the Cavs a nice presence in the backcourt.

As a team, the Cavs are averaging 106.7 points per game on 46.5 shooting and allowing 102.4 points on 44.1 percent shooting. They are shooting 35.1 percent from behind the three-point line and 75.3 percent from the free throw line on the season. If they can get easy attempts in this game and capitalize, Cleveland should be in good shape.

The Spread Via FanDuel:

Moneyline: IND: (+215) | CLE: (-260)

Spread: IND: +5 (-180) | CLE: -5 (-215)

Final Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers 112 Indiana Pacers 98

Give me Cleveland to take this game and continue their impressive start to the season. They possess more depth and are extremely talented on the defensive side of the ball which could make life tough for Indiana. Mobley and Jarrett Allen will make it hard for Indiana to score at the rim which will force them to take some ill advised jumpshots. Cleveland will use the injuries to the Pacers as an advantage and come out with another win at home.

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