The Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers will face each other for the final time in the 2020-21 season on Friday. Both teams are engulfed in a playoff battle in the East and have split the previous two meetings with one win apiece.
Fixture: Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers | NBA Season 2020-21
Date & Time: Friday, April 2nd, 8 PM ET (Saturday, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Charlotte Hornets Preview
The Charlotte Hornets received a walloping at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets last night. Despite the loss, James Borrego's men have a 24-23 record, which is good enough for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. But the situation is so tight that they could drop as low as the seventh seed on Friday itself.
The Charlotte Hornets will need Gordon Hayward to get out of his scoring rut soon. He had 13 points against Brooklyn the other night and has only averaged 14.6 points in the last five matchups. He had also struggled in the previous two matchups against the Indiana Pacers.
Devonte' Graham has been making the most of LaMelo Ball's absence. He's averaged 17.7 points and four assists in six games since being promoted to the Charlotte Hornets' starting lineup again.
Key Player - Terry Rozier
Terry Rozier continues to be the most important player for the Charlotte Hornets on both ends of the court. The two-way guard was only recently named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week and for good reason. He's averaging 20.5 points, 3.4 assists and four rebounds per game this season. He's scored a combined 39 points in the two matches against the Indiana Pacers.
Charlotte Hornets Predicted Lineup
G Devonte' Graham, G Terry Rozier, F Gordon Hayward, F PJ Washington, C Bismack Biyombo
Indiana Pacers Preview
Despite having great individual defenders in Myles Turner and TJ McConnell, the Indiana Pacers haven't been able to get stops as often as they would've liked to. Turner leads the league with 3.5 blocks per game, but his performances haven't translated into wins for the Pacers who are currently on a two-game losing spree.
Domantas Sabonis has been the best performer for the Indiana Pacers this season but he suffered a quad contusion against Miami. He's questionable for the matchup against the Charlotte Hornets. Jeremy Lamb's status for the game is also in doubt because of a toe injury.
In some positive news for the Indiana Pacers, Caris LeVert has been able to perform well following his return. LeVert has had surgery to treat kidney cancer and is averaging 14.9 points per game for the Pacers so far.
Key Player - Malcolm Brogdon
Malcolm Brogdon had arguably his worst game from the field against the Miami Heat on Wednesday but he should be able to bounce back. He's scored 20 or more points in nine out of the 12 games that he played in March. Brogdon is averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this season. He'll likely be taking the defensive assignment of Terry Rozier against the Charlotte Hornets.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G Malcolm Brogdon, G Caris LeVert, F Justin Holiday, F Doug McDermott, C Myles Turner
Hornets vs Pacers Match Prediction
Although both teams seem evenly matched on paper, the Charlotte Hornets have been playing much more efficient basketball. They've won four out of their last six games. In comparison, the Indiana Pacers have looked out of sync on both ends of the court in several matchups lately. They could also miss key players due to injuries. Expect the Hornets to win this matchup.
Where to watch Hornets vs Pacers?
Local coverage of this game will be available on Bally Sports Southeast and Bally Sports Indiana. You can also live stream the same via the NBA League Pass.