The struggling Washington Wizards host the in-form Indiana Pacers at Capital One Arena on Monday. After a successful run before the NBA All-Star break, it appeared like the Wizards would steadily climb up the standings but, unfortunately, they have fallen right back into a slump. The Wizards have lost 10 of their last 13 games and their fortunes don't seem to be improving despite solid production from Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
The Indiana Pacers, on the other hand, are eyeing the play-in tournament as a path into the postseason. They stand at the 9th spot in the conference with a 21-23 record and have faced numerous injury issues this campaign.
Fixture: Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Monday, March 29th, 2021; 7:00 PM ET (Tuesday, March 30th; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
Washington Wizards Preview
It looks like the Washington Wizards' 2020-21 campaign is a foregone conclusion. They are 16-28 with the fifth-worst record in the league, and making the playoffs seems improbable. Despite having two All-Stars in the lineup, the Wizards have a worse record than rebuilding teams like the OKC Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers.
On a positive note, their rookie Deni Avdija has shown a lot of promise. He is averaging 21.8 minutes on the floor and his development is crucial for the Wizards' future. The two All-Star guards, Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, have been putting up great numbers, albeit in losses.
Westbrook is averaging a triple-double this season as well, with 21.4 points, 10.2 assists and 10 rebounds a game along with 1.3 steals per outing. Beal is dropping 31.3 points a night and is leading the league in scoring, which might see him get his first scoring title this season.
Key Player - Russell Westbrook
Although Bradley Beal drops more points per night, Russell Westbrook's overall production makes him the most valuable player on the Washington Wizards. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double and leads the team in rebounding, assists and steals. He leads the Washington Wizards in 3 of the 5 major categories while also scoring 21.4 points a game. The former NBA MVP has a bigger burden this matchup due to Bradley Beal's questionable status for the game.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Russell Westbrook | Shooting Guard - Bradley Beal | Small Forward - Garrison Mathews | Power Forward - Rui Hachimura | Center - Alex Len
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers have been rather inconsistent this season. They have struggled to put together winning streaks and have faced a bevy of injury problems. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers past a Doncic-less Mavericks in their last outing. The Indiana Pacers won 109-94, with Sabonis and Brogdon combining for 44 points, scoring 22 each. Sabonis also grabbed 15 in that game.
TJ McConnell maintained his production on the defensive side of the floor as he grabbed 3 steals and continues to lead the league in total steals this season. Myles Turner is leading the league in blocks, averaging a whopping 3.5 rejections a game.
In other news, the Indiana Pacers' star from last season's Orlando bubble, TJ Warren, won't be returning this season. He underwent foot surgery earlier this week. Moreover, Caris LeVert finally made his Pacers debut and looked good after his surgery.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
Domantas Sabonis has had a very productive campaign this year. He is averaging over 20 points per game and is one of just 13 players averaging a double-double. Sabonis has led the team by example by playing in every single game for the Indiana Pacers and continues to be their main player.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Malcolm Brogdon | Shooting Guard - Caris LeVert | Small Forward - Justin Holiday | Power Forward - Domantas Sabonis | Center - Myles Turner.
Pacers vs Wizards Match Prediction
The Indiana Pacers' current form and record make them favorites to win this game. Sabonis, Turner and Brogdon are all putting up solid numbers on the floor and Caris LeVert is back as well.
The Washington Wizards have listed Bradley Beal as questionable for the game due to a hip issue. Beal is the NBA's leading scorer and losing him will certainly hurt the Wizards.
Where to watch the Pacers vs Wizards game?
The Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards game will be locally televised on Fox Sports Indiana and NBC Sports Washington. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.