Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards Predictions - Thursday May 20
Jonathan Macri is here to preview tonight's clash between the Pacers and Wizards.
Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards Picks & Predictions
The play-in tournament started off with a whimper, at least where the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards were concerned.
First, the Pacers steamrolled the Hornets by 27 in a game that wasn’t nearly that close. That it came without Caris LeVert was all the more impressive, as the former Net was sidelined due to health and safety protocols and will be forced to miss the Wizards game as well.
It didn’t matter on Tuesday night though. Malcolm Brogdon, who misses the last 10 games of the season due to injury, was back, and he made his presence felt in just 21 minutes. He and backup point guard T.J. McConnell combined to shoot 14-for-22 for 33 points and 11 dime, which is a great sign going into a game against a team that has had difficulty defending opposing point guards all year long.
The real star was again Sabonis, who came in averaging 23 points, 14 boards and 10 assists on 62 percent shooting in his last 10 games and put up 14, 21 & 9 here. The Hornets had no answer for the two-man game he formed with Doug McDermott (7-for-9, including 4-of-6 from deep), and in total, the Pacers starting five combined to shoot 13-for-25 from long range.
In Washington, who fell to Boston by 18 after giving up 50 to Jayson Tatum, the Pacers will once again get an opponent susceptible to giving up large numbers on offense. Yes, the Wizards defense has been better over the last month and a half, but their defensive numbers have been inflated by strong performances against weak offenses. Meanwhile, Scott Brooks’ team has given up 120 or more in eight of the last 12 games, including 141 and 132 to these Pacers in May.
Both of those Indiana games were wins, but one was a one-point victory in overtime, and Brogdon didn’t play in either game. Perhaps more importantly, Bradley Beal played in both, dropping 50 in the second contest. Beal will be here for this game, but after missing the last three outings of the regular season with an injury, it was clear against Boston that he didn’t look like himself.
The Playoffs are all about picking the team that is healthy and hot, especially in a one-game scenario. The Pacers may not have had the season they wanted, but to focus on that and not the here and now would be foolish.
Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards Prediction
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