Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/18/23)

The surging Los Angeles Clippers (15-10) battle the Indiana Pacers (13-11) this Monday (12/18/23). Get Clippers vs. Pacers moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers Prediction

The Clippers have won seven straight games and currently rank seventh in first quarter net rating, while the Pacers are 20th in this department (per NBA.com).

Kawhi Leonard is arguably playing the best basketball of his career at the moment. Over his past nine games, the 2x Finals MVP has averaged roughly 29 points, six rebounds, and four assists on unbelievable 62/59/89 shooting splits. Meanwhile, Paul George has produced about 20 points per game on 48/43/94 splits over his last six games, so Los Angeles’ stars are red-hot. They face a Pacers defense that completely lacks defenders with the chops or size to handle them in isolation.

The Pacers are also allowing the second largest pick-and-roll ball handler points per possession and the most restricted area field goal attempts, so the Harden-Zubac combo should decimate them. Zubac can hurt them on the glass too, as Indiana is 27th in opponent offensive rebound rate.

Defensively, Los Angeles is riddled with versatile wings that can constantly switch. Terance Mann in particular is a decent option to throw at Tyrese Haliburton, who runs the show for Indiana. Finally, the Clippers own the fifth best transition defense per ShotQuality, which is a massive part of Indiana’s offense.

Overall, Los Angeles’ offense is on fire right now, and their vastly superior defensive ceiling gives them the edge. Back the Clippers to control the first quarter and win the match.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers Prediction: Clippers Moneyline & 1st Quarter Clippers -1

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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers Best Odds

The visiting Clippers are three point favorites; they have a 12-13 record against the spread this season. For Indiana’s +135 moneyline to hold a positive expected value, they need to win about 42 percent of the time.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: James Harden
SG: Paul George
SF: Terance Mann
PF: Kawhi Leonard
C: Ivica Zubac

Indiana Pacers Starting Lineup

PG: Tyrese Haliburton
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Bruce Brown Jr
PF: Obi Toppin
C: Myles Turner

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers Injuries

Mason Plumlee and Moussa Diabate remain out for the Clippers, while Bones Hyland is questionable. On the other end, Tyrese Haliburton is questionable, and Andrew Nembhard and Jalen Smith are out.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Indiana Pacers Key Matchups

Free Throws

Los Angeles is 8th in free throw attempt rate because Harden, Leonard, and George all understand how to draw contact and get the veteran whistle via refs. Indiana’s defense ranks dead last in opponent free throw attempt rate, which is extremely worrisome for them here. If Los Angeles racks up free throws, then their efficiency margin for error becomes far greater.

TJ McConnell

With Nembhard out, Indiana’s bench desperately needs his playmaking and pick-and-roll ball handling. McConnell is a crafty veteran and cautious passer, so he’s up to the task. If McConnell can stabilize the bench shot quality and chip in eight to ten points, then Indiana has a much better chance of keeping pace.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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