The Indiana Pacers and the LA Lakers will battle on Saturday for the right to be called the winner of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament. Indiana beat the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks on their way to the championship round. LA carved a spot in the finals by dispatching the Sacramento Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s fitting that the two unbeaten teams in the tournament will battle for the NBA Cup.
Indiana booked a seat in the finals by playing composed basketball against the veteran Bucks, who were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard. Tyrese Haliburton was yet again the star as he delivered crucial baskets and assists to outlast Milwaukee.
The Lakers’ highly anticipated game against the young and hungry Pelicans turned out to be a blowout victory. LeBron James was the biggest reason his team is moving on to the finals. He outplayed New Orleans’ athletic and talented stars in the semifinals.
Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers: Preview, betting tips and prediction
Teams: Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers
Date and Time: December 9, 2023 | 8:30 PM ET
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers: Game preview
Tyrese Haliburton and the Pacers are insisting they are not flukes. It’s hard to argue against them after they sent home the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, two of the favorites to win the NBA In-Season Tournament. Haliburton will win the MVP of the competition if Indiana brings home the championship.
LeBron James has to be drug-tested. What he did in the semifinals against the supposedly superior athletes of the Pelicans was just mind-boggling. Despite his age and accomplishments, he played with more hunger, and he was incredibly explosive. He will be the Lakers’ MVP if they become the inaugural winner of the NBA In-Season Tournament
Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers: Predicted starting lineups
The Pacers are expected to start Obi Toppin, Myles Turner, Bruce Brown, Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield.
Darvin Ham is likely to roll out LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and D’Angelo Russell.
Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers: Betting tips
LeBron James leads the LA Lakers with 25.0 points per game. The over/under point prop for him is 28.5. Bettors get -120 for over and -110 for under. “King James” has hit at least 28 points in three out of his last 10 games.
The four-time MVP almost always shows up in big games. He had 31 against the Phoenix Suns in the quarterfinals and 30 against the New Orleans Pelicans despite taking an early rest. Expect him to go over the 28.5 margin.
Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 26.9 points and an NBA-best 12.1 assists per game. The point prop for him is 28.5. Bettors get -120 for over and -110 for under. The All-Star point guard has hit at least 28 points in five out of his last 10 games.
The over/under assists prop for the leading playmaker in the NBA is 12.5. Bettors get -106 for over and -127 for under.
The Indiana Pacers will only go as far as Haliburton can carry them. He has also shown nerves of steel. It’s likely he gets over both his points and assists props.
Indiana Pacers vs LA Lakers: Prediction
The moneyline for the Pacers is +165, while it’s -185 for the Lakers. Indiana is a +4.5 underdog against Los Angeles.
Saturday night’s game between the Pacers and the Lakers promises to be an exciting battle. Indiana can no longer be overlooked after how they eliminated the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pacers, however, are too reliant on Haliburton. If he has an off night, beating the Lakers will be a tall task.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis have won it all. LA’s roster also just got healthy in time for the big game. The Lakers could become the inaugural winners of the NBA In-Season Tournament, but Indy could cover the spread.