It may not mean much on the national scene, but the Pacers are about to play their biggest game of the season, visiting Washington on Monday night in a game with playoff implications.
Namely, it will play a role in who makes the playoffs, who’s banished to the play-in tournament, and who may not get in at all. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. Be there or be square.
The Pacers (30-33) are coming off their most dominant win in franchise history — hammering Oklahoma City by 57 points. The game marked the much-needed return of All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis, who erupted for 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Doug McDermott also scored a career-high 31.
“It was so much fun to finally be out there with my teammates,” Sabonis said. “Watching on the sidelines for an athlete is never fun. To be out there again and playing the game, it was awesome.”
But it’s on to the next for Indy, and the Wizards (29-35) have been no slouched themselves lately. They have won eight of 10 and while the Pacers are holding down the ninth playoff spot, the Wizards are right there at 10th. As of today, both teams would be part of the play-in tourney — but nothing more.
Both teams are aiming to catch the seventh-seeded Boston Celtics and eight-seeded Charlotte Hornets, though that will take some work. The Pacers are just a half-game behind the Hornets, but three back of the Celtics.
More from Indiana
- As of late Sunday night, Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring), Goga Bitadze (ankle), Jeremy Lamb (knee) were listed as questionable, with JaKarr Sampson (concussion) out. Of course, Myles Turner (toe/foot) and T.J. Warren (foot, out for season) also remain shelved.
- The Pacers will be hosting a public celebration for the late Bobby “Slick” Leonard at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 12. Tickets went on sale Friday ad are available for $5.99. Attendance is limited to 1,500. The event will be streamed as well, with all proceeds going toward Dropping Dimes, an organization that helps former ABA players.
- You can read more on Leonard in my column on the Indiana legend right here.