Indiana Pacers
Washington Wizards
Thu, May 20 - 8:00p ET   |   TNT   |   Capital One Arena
By Landon Smith

Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards NBA Playoffs Match Preview and Free Picks 05/20/21

Indiana Pacers Will Try to Get a Win When Meet Washington Wizards from Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia - NBA Basketball Match Preview and Prediction Game on Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Preview, Prediction and Picks

The Indiana Pacers went 0-3 against the Washington Wizards in the regular season and allowed more than 130 points each time.

The Pacers have a chance to put those struggles aside Thursday night when they travel to Washington in the NBA entry round. The winners take the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference draw and face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Losers begin their offseason.

Indiana star Domantas Sabonis doesn't expect Thursday to be his last game of the season after the Pacers beat the Charlotte Hornets 144-117 in their first inning game on Tuesday.

The Wizards were a hot team that won 17 of 23 to close out the regular season, but they were a cold shot team in their 118-100 loss to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Washington stars Bradley Beal (10 of 25 on the field) and Russell Westbrook (6 of 18) were often out of place on their shots. The duo missed nine of their 10 3-point attempts when the Wizards played 3 of 21 as a team.

Beal ranked second in the NBA averaging 31.3 points in the regular season, but was clearly hampered by his left hamstring strain against Boston. He scored just 22 points and was often seen grabbing his leg or stretching his hamstrings during time-outs.

Westbrook's stat line included 20 points and 14 rebounds, but he only had five assists and was not in his typical high-profile form.

However, Westbrook terrified Indiana during the regular season averaging 27.3 points, 18 rebounds and 20 assists.

In Washington's 154-141 win on May 3, Westbrook had a career-high 21 rebounds and matched his career best with 24 assists. He also had 21 assists in a 132-124 victory over the Pacers on March 29.

Beal scored 50 against Indiana in a 133-132 overtime victory on May 8.

Sabonis did his best to counter the Washington duo with an average of 32.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 9.3 assists. He posted a triple-double of 30 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in the May 8 loss.

Sabonis didn't hit a triple-double in Charlotte's takedown with 14 points, 21 rebounds and nine assists.

The return of guard Malcolm Brogdon also energized the Pacers. He came back from a 10-game absence with a hamstring injury to record 16 points and eight assists in just 21 minutes.

The Pacers will be without guard Caris LeVert again due to health and safety protocols.


WINNER: Indiana Pacers @ +3.5

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By Landon Smith, on 8:00p ET