NBA Predictions: Game-by-Game

This page will contain articles that predict the outcomes of particular games during the 2015 NBA regular season. The articles will be by one columnist.

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My Predictions:

Golden State Warriors v. Indiana Pacers Tuesday, December 8 7:00 P.M. NBATV

The Golden State Warriors (GSW) are currently on a twenty-two game winning streak. They have already broken the the record for the longest-winning streak to start an NBA season, and they are getting closer to the longest winning streak in NBA history. This is held by the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers with a 33 game winning streak, but the current team could not even stop the Warriors, losing by a tremendous score of 111-77. However, there is one team that I believe will end the Warriors winning streak on Tuesday, December 8: the Indiana Pacers.

Most people would seriously doubt this, especially because the Indiana Pacers are from the Eastern Conference and did not even make the playoffs in the 2014-2015 NBA season. They have a better chance than what most people might think, though. First, they have to match the Warriors’ offensive pace. I know this seems impossible, but Indiana has tremendously increased this aspect of the game compared to that of last season. So far this season, they have scored 103.3 points per game (PPG) against teams from both conferences. For the first time since the 2009-2010 season (six years ago), they have broken the one-hundred PPG barrier. Although the Pacers score about twelve less PPG than the Warriors, their field goal percentage and three point field goal percentage, 44.1% and 40.1% respectively, are not that far from the Warriors’ 49.3% field goal percentage and 43.7% three point field goal percentage. Also, the Indiana Pacers match the Golden State Warriors defensively. Indy’s 98.2 opponents’ PPG is two points less than the 100.2 PPG for the Warriors. Their opponents’ 43.5% field goal percentage and 33.7% three point field goal percentage are very close to GSW’s 42.5% opponents’ field goal percentage and 30.5% opponents’ three point field goal percentage as well. Finally, the Pacers are actually averaging less turnovers per game (TPG) and more (TPG) on their opponents than the Warriors. Indiana’s 15.0 TPG and 16.8 opponents’ TPG compared to Golden State’s 15.6 TPG and 14.2 opponents’ TPG show the Pacers can match Golden State on the defensive side of the ball.

Of course, since the Indiana Pacers have played more Eastern Conference teams than the Golden State Warriors, their statistics seem better than what they might be if they were in the Western Conference. There is one thing that would not change for the Pacers, though, and that thing is Paul George. This dude is an animal. If one guy could bring a team together to beat the best team in the league, that would be Paul George himself. Take a look at what Stephen A. Smith had to say about Paul George, comparing him from the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the Miami Heat to how he is playing right now:

“Defense wins championships, but points win games, and you have to put the ball in the hole, and if you are the Indiana Pacers, the catalyst for that is Paul George. When he is flowing, it has a contagious effect that benefits the Lance Stevensons, George Hills, and David Wests of the world tremendously‚Ķ. This dude has superstar talent, and he is a star in this league that is emerging to another level. -- 2014 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, 5/15/2014

““If there is a team to have the potential to knock them [GSW] off, it would be that of the Indiana Pacers because Roy Hibbert is no longer on this squad; they actually have the ability to go small. And Paul George is back! I have watched this guy this season, and he is averaging a shade under 28 [points] a game. He’s shooting 45% from 3 pt range, and the one thing we all need not forget about him Skip is that he can defend. He can defend multiple positions. He can defend Steph Curry one minute, Klay Thompson the next, you know or somebody else. He is more than capable of doing that. --2015 The day of the Indiana Pacers v. undefeated Golden State Warriors game in the 2015-2016 NBA regular season, 12/8/15.

If you liked that, please visit the following link to hear the rest of the discussion that took place at the desk with Skip Bayless on First Take:

After all of these factors, the Indiana Pacers’ ability to play small while still hitting three’s and playing great defense will ultimately stop the Golden State Warriors from beating the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers’ winning streak.

Predictions- Outside Sources

Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls, 11/16/15-Expert Prediction

Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets, 11/20/15-Free Prediction