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Pacers/Knicks & Pelicans/Celtics Parlay Preview Article


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NBA Parlay for Wednesday's Slate ( ): Pacers and Pelicans Are Live Dogs Tonight

Best Bet: Parlay Pacers +4.5 at -110 & Pelicans +9.5 at -110 at +264 odds with Bookmaker

Indiana Pacers vs. New York Knicks
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden in New York

Pacer Offense

Indiana's offense is engineered to attempt a lot of three-pointers.

In recent years, the Pacers have been heading in this direction.

Proof of their growing inclination to become an offense focused on shooting threes is in their coaching and personnel changes.

They are a more modern time now they used to be, and they have the personnel run a more modern offense.

Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton

One crucial element is Buddy Hield, who, going back to his college days, has always been known as a high-volume shooter.

He and fellow guard Tyrese Haliburton attempt well over seven threes per game, and these guys are great at what they do.

Haliburton converts 40.2 percent of his threes and Hield converts 42.6 percent of them.

While other Pacer players are worth highlighting for their shooting ability, Hield is worth underscoring.

Hield is special because of his consistency. In 20 games since the start of December, Hield has converted 40 or more percent of his three-point attempts 16 times.

This consistency helps Indiana rank in the upper third in three-point percentage.

With guys like Hield, the Pacers are sure to make a lot of threes especially against a defense that is vulnerable in the right sorts of ways.

Knicks' Vulnerable Defense

New York's defense is vulnerable in the right way because the Knicks are especially weak at guarding the perimeter.

It is easy to point to communication lapses where, when guarding ball-screens, for example, Julius Randle thinks his teammate Immanuel Quickley will respond in one way while Quickley ends up doing something different.

But the fact is that New York lacks quality perimeter defenders.

The Knicks will surely shop for one ahead of the February trade deadline,

But for now, we can take advantage of the way in which the Knick defense is vulnerable by expecting teams like Indiana to score a lot of points against it.

Statistical Proof

Don't just take my word for it: there is ample evidence to support my claim that the Knick perimeter defense is porous.

This team allows the eighth-highest frequency of open three-point attempts and the fifth-highest frequency of wide-open ones.

The Knicks allow the third-highest three-point percentage because their opponents consistently work for uncontested three-point shot attempts.

New York's Offensive Focus

While the Knicks also shoot a fair number of threes per game, they lack efficient shooters, in contrast to Indiana.

Their best source of scoring will be the area closer to the basket. They rank 10thin points in the paint.

Myles Turner

The problem with New York's relatively strong inclination to score inside is that Indiana boasts one of the NBA's top rim protectors in Myles Turner.

With Turner, who averages 2.3 blocks per game, patrolling the paint for around 30 minutes, the Knicks will struggle to score in the way that they need to.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Boston Celtics
Wednesday, January 11, 20223 at 7:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston

Unreliable Favorites

Boston continues to be unreliable when favored.

The Celtics are suffering a 1-5 ATS run when favored.

They struggle especially when they are favored by more points.

Evidently, they overlook teams that they are expected to beat, which is something they are all the likelier to do tonight since they face the mighty Nets tomorrow night.

Pelican Offensive Focus

With Zion injured, New Orleans is easy to overlook -- by Boston players and bettors alike.

But, as measured by field goals made per game, the Pelicans remain potent in front of the basket.

They are making very nearly as many field goals per game within five feet of the basket as they did when Zion was playing.

Multiple guys are stepping up in scoring in this area.

Such guys to look forward to include Jonas Valanciunas, Willy Hernangomez, CJ McCollum, and Naji Marshall.

All four players attempt nearly five or very many more field goals within five feet of the basket, and all four convert over 63 percent of those attempts.

Clearly, New Orleans wants to attack the basket.

Boston's Key Personnel Issue

The key injury question, therefore, is not Zion.

Rather, it is Celtic center Robert Williams III.

He is listed as 'questionable' for tonight's game with left knee injury management.

If he does play, his minutes will presumably remain restricted.

So, the Celtics' top rim protector won't be sufficiently available to deter New Orleans from thriving at the basket as its scorers want to.

Pelican Defense

New Orleans' vastly improved defense will help limit Celtic scoring.

The Pelicans rely extensively on their length and, especially with their center Valanciunas off the floor, on their versatility when they switch on screens.

They less often have to scramble on defense because every potential ball-handler remains accounted for.

Keeping a defender positioned in front of an opposing ball-handler also makes it easy to apply pressure, especially with feisty defenders like Jose Alvarado.

Their ball pressure plus their length on defense helps them force turnovers.

Compared with other teams' defenders, Pelican defenders are great at forcing turnovers and accruing quick and easy points off baskets.

So, a Pelican ball-screen defense that ranks among the NBA's best at limiting opposing PPP (points per possession) on the ball-screen for the ball-handler play type has the lengthy and versatile personnel to shut down Boston's ball-screen attack.

Meanwhile, Celtic turnovers will lead to increased Pelican scoring.