Basketball

NBA Play-In Tournament: Pacers Path to ’21 Playoffs

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NBA Play-In Tournament: 9th seed Indiana Pacers vs 10th seed Charlotte Hornets

The Indiana Pacers secured the 9th seed in the NBA Play-In Tournament with a 125-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors on the last night of the regular season. For, the Charlotte Hornets they fell to the 10th seed when they lost to the red hot Washington Wizards 110-115.

The Indiana Pacers have battled injury throughout the season and that will stay the same heading into the NBA Play-In tournament. Myles Turner, T.J. Warren, and Jeremy Lamb are listed as out. Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon, Edmond Sumner, and Aaron Holiday listed as questionable as of last night.

In a surprising announcement, Shams Charania posted that Caris LeVert will also miss the team’s first Play-In game due to health and safety protocols. This is a big blow for the playoff-hopeful Pacers as LeVert will likely be sidelined for multiple games even if the Pacers advance.

The Charlotte Hornets have Gordon Hayward and Cody Martin listed as Out. 3 of the 4 teams in the NBA Play-In tournament were involved in NBA rumors this off-season. With rumors of Gordon Hayward being traded to the Pacers for Myles Turner. The Celtics pushed for more and the trade fell through, which led to Gordon Hayward signing with the Charlotte Hornets. He helped the Hornets get back to pushing, for the playoffs along with rookie phenom LaMelo Ball.

The winner of this matchup will face the loser of the Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards. The loser goes home. I believe it brings a March Madness type feeling to the NBA.

NBA Play-In Tournament: 7th seed Boston Celtics vs 8th seed Washington Wizards

A disappointing regular season for the Boston Celtics as they fell to the 7th seed. It has been a struggle as their 2 young stars Jayson Tatum battled Covid early in the season and Jaylen Brown battled injury and Brown is out for the rest of the season. The Washington Wizards started slow but had a great 2nd half as they tied their longest win streak in 20 years, winning 8 straight. https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/wizards/wizards-match-longest-win-streak-20-years-close-franchise-record

The winner of this matchup enters the playoffs as the 7th seed. The loser faces the winner of the Indiana Pacers vs Charlotte Hornets for the 8th seed.

NBA Play-In Tournament Drama

The NBA Play-In Tournament is something writer Bill Simmons has talked about for years. He had a different setup, but something I enjoyed from reading his work. https://twitter.com/BillSimmons/status/965275573294579712?s=20 It has brought some negative feedback though as well. Lebron James was okay with the NBA Play-In tournament last year when he wasn’t involved. https://www.nbcsports.com/northwest/trail-blazers/lebron-james-whines-about-play-year-after-championing-it

Mark Cuban was also not a fan when it looked like the Dallas Mavericks might be involved. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/mavericks/2021/04/14/mavericks-mark-cuban-nba-playoffs-play-tournament-mistake/7217842002/

NBA Play-In Tournament Picks

The Indiana Pacers are at -3 and will get enough scoring to get a 119-112 W. The Boston Celtics listed as a -2 favorite. Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal have the ability to takeover games and will make a great run, but the Celtics experience will get it done 121-118.

With hopes that the Pacers season will continue. We will hold off picks for the next game. Please continue to interact on Twitter @Justis15 for all Pacers updates and go to our website http://www.overtimeheroics.net

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