Since the 2nd half of the 2015-16 NBA Regular Season is well underway this Monday night the 29th and last day of February 2016 we have an interesting match-up between 2 Eastern Conference rivals in the 31-27 Indiana Pacers (6th in East) playing at the 41-16 Cleveland Cavaliers (1st in East) with the game being played at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio with tip-off scheduled for 7:10 PM ET and seen on NBA TV.
This Monday night with the Pacers being hosted by the Cavaliers, both of these teams have adjusted their looks since their last meeting win which the Cavaliers beat the Pacers on the 8th of November 101-97, and each team has made some major changes to their lineups and game strategies in the ultimate 2 weeks.
On the Pacers side they have changed from their strategy they previously used of a small lineup, as they now have added the young rookie M. Turner to their starting roster, and in that new schemed they were victorious in those 2 games with Turner one of the starting 5, and they won their game this past Thursday beating the Hawks of Atlanta and then of Saturday they beat the Nuggets of Denver in OT.
Yes the addition of the 6’11” rookie Turner has been an improvement, but also the better performance by their proven M. Ellis has been the main difference in their latest win streak of the last few days, as in the previous 2 months Ellis has been bothered by a knee problem, but not is playing as he had before. He has been the team’s leading scorer in the ultimate 2 games as he averages some 28.7 points, with 6.2 assists and 7.2 rebounds and 4 steals in those games. Previously Ellis has struggled with the outside the arc shots only making 30% but as of late, he has been on course with his 3-pointers, making some 9 of his 15 attempts.
For the fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers your team has had some major roster changes since their star guard at the point is returning from an injury encountered back in the later part of Dec. 2015, but the big change came on the 22nd of Jan. 2016 when the Cavaliers fired their head coach D. Blatt even though the team was leading their Eastern Conference at the time.
Under the helm of their new coach T. Lue they lost their 1st game and then had 4 straight wins, with wins over the Suns of Phoenix and the Timberwolves of Minnesota and followed that with a big win on Friday over the Pistons of Detroit, then a strong victory 117-103 over the Spurs of San Antonio on Saturday night.
The trio for Cleveland, the call the ‘Big 3’ with James, Love and Irving in their win over the Spurs shot 57.5% for 71 points combined in that game. Thus, the Pacers will have to come up with a strong defensive performance if they are going to contain the powerful Cavaliers trio.
In the last game between the Pacers and the Cavaliers which was played back on the 8th of November when the Pacers Ellis and George had a combined 57 points, but still lost to the Cavaliers 101-97 at their Q Arena. The Pacers actually took a 2 point lead with 2 minutes left in the game, but the Cavaliers took the lead on a 3 pointer by T. Thompson and held on to beat the Pacers.
The online betting prediction on this Eastern rivalry game will see the Cleveland Cavaliers overtake the Indiana Pacers again in the 4th quarter and win the game 113 -102!