Pacers Notes: Playoff hopes, injuries, Leonard

Domantas Sabonis | USA TODAY Sports images

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.

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About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of FortyEight Minutes. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for OutKick, Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and NBA.com.

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