2021 NBA action continues as the Indiana Pacers host the OKC Thunder on Wednesday. The Pacers are fighting for dear life to stay in the play-in spots. They are currently 9th in the Eastern Conference, but teams below them have begun to pick up steam. Meanwhile, the OKC Thunder's season is a foregone conclusion as the team turns to developing young players. They are hoping to get a high pick in the upcoming draft.
Fixture: OKC Thunder vs Indiana Pacers | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Wednesday, April 21st, 2021; 7:00 PM ET (Thursday, April 22nd; 4:30 AM IST).
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.
Indiana Pacers Preview
The Indiana Pacers have lost four of their last five games as they succumb to unfortunate injuries. Also, as mentioned earlier, the teams below them have turned it up a notch. However, they face the 6th-easiest schedule for the remainder of the season and if Domantas Sabonis and crew pull up their socks for the last 15 games, they might find themselves in a better position.
The Pacers feature some league statistical leaders in their squad. Guard TJ McConnell leads the NBA in total steals with 93, a remarkable 7 steals ahead of the no. 2 player on the leaderboard. Their center, Myles Turner, is leading the league in blocks with an astonishing 3.4 swats per game. He has featured in several DPOY Power rankings this season. Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon has been excellent as well. The former Rookie of the Year is averaging 21.4 points and 6.0 assists per game while shooting 40% from three.
Key Player - Domantas Sabonis
2x All-Star Domantas Sabonis is a young and electrifying player. The 24-year-old forward is one of just 13 players averaging a double-double, with nearly 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. He can play either as a power forward or center thanks to his 6-foot-11 frame. He is also a great offensive player, shooting 52% from the field this season on 14.4 attempts a game. He is listed under "day-to-day" for the Indiana Pacers and he didn't play against the Spurs in their last outing. Sabonis is expected to lace up tonight.
Indiana Pacers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Malcolm Brogdon | Shooting Guard - Caris LeVert | Small Forward - Edmond Sumner | Power Forward - Domantas Sabonis | Center - Goga Bitadze.
OKC Thunder Preview
The OKC Thunder are on one of their worst stretches of the season. They have lost 11 games in a row, as the absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has made it difficult for them to compete. Earlier this season, the team announced that Al Horford will not be playing as the Thunder focus on developing their young players.
GM Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder now have 34 draft picks over the next seven years, including 17 first-rounders. As they tank this season, the team is certain to get another pick to add to their vast collection. With an abundance of assets and young players, the future of the OKC Thunder looks bright.
Key Player - Luguentz Dort
Luguentz Dort has built his reputation as a tough and competitive defender. He doesn't shy away from a challenge and his on-ball defense has opened a lot of eyes. The young guard has drastically improved on the offensive end of the floor as well. He recently dropped 42 points on the Utah Jazz and has recorded nine outings with 20+ points.
OKC Thunder Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Theo Maledon | Shooting Guard - Luguentz Dort | Small Forward - Aleksej Pokusevski | Power Forward - Darius Bazley | Center - Moses Brown.
Thunder vs Pacers Match Prediction
Both teams are coming off significant losses and will look to end their streaks at the expense of the other. The OKC Thunder and the Indiana Pacers are both facing injury woes as well, which could make this match could go in either direction. However, the Indiana Pacers' defense might tip the scales in their favor.
Where to watch the Thunder vs Pacers game?
The OKC Thunder vs Indiana Pacers game will be locally televised on Bally Sports Indiana and Bally Sports Oklahoma. The game can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.