The Washington Wizards will look to sweep their 2020-21 NBA season series with the Indiana Pacers when they meet on Saturday at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Both teams are in the reckoning for the play-in tournament at the moment.
Currently occupying the tenth spot in the East, the Washington Wizards (31-36) will look to swap positions with the ninth-placed Indiana Pacers (31-35) by winning on Saturday. The Wizards have won both previous meetings against the Pacers this season.
Needless to say, this match has implications in the race for the play-in tournament at the end of the regular season.
Fixture – Washington Wizards vs Indiana Pacers | 2020-21 NBA Season.
Date & Time – Saturday, May 8th; 7:00 PM ET (Sunday, May 9th; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue – Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards have won four of their last six games, including a 131-129 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday and a 154-141 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.
Thanks to a balanced scoring attack that saw three players score more than 20 points, the Wizards outlasted the Raptors, who are slipping out of the postseason reckoning. Russell Westbrook had a huge outing, bagging an imperious triple-double.
Against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, the Washington Wizards will be playing their third game in four nights, so fatigue could be a factor in the outcome of the game.
Key Player – Russell Westbrook
The Indiana Pacers’ game last Monday was one in which Russell Westbrook produced a fabulous performance, recording 14 points, a career-high 21 rebounds and a joint-career-high 24 assists.
It marked only the third game in NBA history that a player had 20-plus rebounds and 20-plus assists. The only other player to have done so is Wilt Chamberlain, which means the Wizards guard is the only player to have registered this feat multiple times.
Westbrook tallied 13 points, 17 rebounds and 17 assists against the Raptors, giving him 180 triple-doubles for his career, which is just one shy of Oscar Robertson’s all-time record. The game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday could be the one that helps him go level with the Big O.
If the Indiana Pacers wish to stop the Washington Wizards, they’ll have to start with Westbrook, but that could be easier said than done.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Russell Westbrook l Shooting Guard – Raul Neto l Small Forward – Bradley Beal l Power Forward – Anthony Gill l Center – Alex Len.
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers are reeling from a number of defeats lately. They have won just two of their last six games, but one of those wins came on Thursday when they beat the Atlanta Hawks 133-126.
However, the Pacers could have a tough time against the Washington Wizards if Malcolm Brogdon misses the game. That’s because they are without Myles Turner for this game, as the player is out indefinitely. So the trio of Aaron Holiday, Caris LeVert and Domantas Sabonis will have to step up in a big way.
The Indiana Pacers have six games remaining in their regular season, making Saturday’s matchup a crucial one as they look to get into the play-in tournament.
Key Player – Caris LeVert
Caris LeVert has been stepping up and putting up big numbers for his team. In his last four games, LeVert has averaged 27.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He is also shooting a sizzling hot 57.7% from the three.
If the Indiana Pacers hope to reach the postseason, LeVert will have to keep turning in similar numbers till the end of the regular season. Meanwhile, his counterpart in the Washington Wizards team is Bradley Beal. The battle between the two high-scoring guards could be entertaining and decisive in the context of the game.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard – Aaron Holiday l Shooting Guard – Caris LeVert l Small Forward – Oshae Brissett l Power Forward – Doug McDermott l Center – Domantas Sabonis.
Wizards vs Pacers Match Prediction
In the last few weeks, the Washington Wizards have been taking down teams they had no business winning against, a trend that has continued. The Indiana Pacers aren’t likely to roll over easily, but injuries to key players have left them struggling on most nights.
Nevertheless, this duel could be a close game, but the Washington Wizards are expected to beat the Indiana Pacers.
Where to watch the Wizards vs Pacers game?
The game between the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers will be televised nationally on NBA TV and locally on NBC Sports Washington and Bally Sports Indiana. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.
Also Read: Top 5 individual performances by rookies in the 2020-21 NBA season.