The 2021-22 NBA season will continue on Friday when the Washington Wizards welcome the Indiana Pacers to the Capitol One Arena. The Wizards will look to continue their strong start to the season, while the Pacers will seek their first win of the campaign. This matchup is a rematch of the two teams' play-in tournament bout that determined the eighth seed in last season's playoffs.
Indiana are coming off a 123-122 loss on Opening Night against the Charlotte Hornets. The Pacers were on their way to an easy victory, but the Hornets came back strong in the third quarter to keep the game close heading into the fourth. Domantas Sabonis had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, which he squandered.
Meanwhile, the Wizards spent their Opening Night up north against the Toronto Raptors. Washington came out firing in the first half, and held on to their lead for a comfortable 98-83 win.
Fixture: Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards | NBA Season 2021-22.
Date & Time: Friday, October 22nd; 7:00 PM ET (Saturday, October 23rd; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Capitol One Arena, Washington, DC.
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers were in control of their game against the Charlotte Hornets. In a rematch of their play-in tournament matchup last season, the Pacers once again dominated the Hornets.
They scored 75 points against Charlotte's 59 in the first two quarters. However, LaMelo Ball led a furious 24-0 run in the third quarter as the Hornets held the Pacers to just 13 points in the third.
It was close in the fourth, with the Indiana Pacers leading 122-121 with just 12.7 seconds remaining. The Hornets were then fouled, and PJ Washington hit the game-winning free throws with 4.6 seconds left in the game. Domantas Sabonis missed the final shot as the Pacers lost their first game of the season.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
The Indiana Pacers were led by Domantas Sabonis against the Charlotte Hornets. Sabonis, who was an All-Star last season, had 33 points, 15 rebounds and two assists. He also committed six turnovers in the one-point loss.
If the Pacers want to get their first win of the season against the Washington Wizards, Sabonis will need to dominate the game. He also has to cut down his turnovers. Known for his playmaking, the 25-year-old star should continue to look for his teammates and increase his assists output.
Besides Sabonis, the Pacers will need big games from their regular starters like Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner too. Chris Duarte, who had an amazing NBA debut, will look to continue producing the goods till Caris LeVert is out.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
G - Malcolm Brogdon; G - Chris Duarte; F - Justin Holiday; F - Domantas Sabonis; C - Myles Turner.
Washington Wizards Preview
The Washington Wizards started their season on the road against the Toronto Raptors. The Wizards have overhauled their roster following their offseason trade of Russell Westbrook to the LA Lakers.
Bradley Beal got things going against the Raptors. He led the Wizards with 23 points, three rebounds and four assists. Newly-signed point guard Spencer Dinwiddie had a good debut, too, adding 13 points, four rebounds and six assists.
Off the bench, Montrezl Harrell had a monster game with 22 points and nine rebounds. Harrell was acquired from the LA Lakers in the Westbrook trade, along with Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Key Player - Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal, without a doubt, is the best player of the Washington Wizards. He had a career year last season, finishing behind Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors in scoring. If Beal can recapture his form from last season, the Wizards could make some noise in the Eastern Conference.
Apart from Beal, the Wizards will also rely on Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma in their game against the Pacers on Friday.
Washington Wizards Predicted Lineup
G - Spencer Dinwiddie; G - Bradley Beal; F - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope; F - Kyle Kuzma; C - Daniel Gafford.
Pacers vs Wizards Match Prediction
Both teams look good on paper, with the Pacers having a slight edge in terms of depth. However, the Wizards will head into the game with momentum and home-court advantage, which could make for a good contest between the two Eastern Conference teams.
Where to watch Pacers vs Wizards?
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The Indiana Pacers vs Washington Wizards game can be streamed live on NBA League Pass. Meanwhile, local fans can watch the game on NBC Sports Washington and Bally Sports Indiana.