Will Russell Westbrook & Bradley Beal Play Tonight? Wizards vs Pacers Play-In Predictions, Injury Updates & Lineups

Published 05/20/2021, 6:08 PM EDT
Dec 26, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) stands on the court with Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) against the Orlando Magic in the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The Indiana Pacers face off against the Washington Wizards in the fifth game of the exciting play-in format tonight at 8:00 PM EST. This Wizards vs Pacers Play-In game is a winner takes all as the victorious team will secure the eighth seed in the playoffs.

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Given the form they were in, they were seen as the favorites against the Boston Celtics in the play-in game. But the Wizards looked like a shadow of their former self against Boston who blew them out 118-100.

Bradley Beal is surely struggling with his hamstring injury as he put up only 22 points. Even Russell Westbrook couldn’t step up and had a terrible shooting night.

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Wizards, as a whole, also had a terrible shooting night draining only 14.3% of their shots. If Wizards want to capture the eighth seed, they will have to bring their ‘A-game’ against the resilient Pacers.

May 8, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts as hitting the game winning free throw during an overtime period against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports

Despite missing star guard Caris LeVert from the lineup, the Pacers were simply unstoppable against the Hornets. They came in all guns blazing against the Hornets, leading the game by 16 points at the end of the first quarter itself.

While players like Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis did have great performances, it was the likes of Oshae Brisset and Doug McDermott who were standout performers in the game. The Pacers ultimately were too good for the injury riddled Hornets as they defeated them 144-117. If the Pacers continue this form, we might see them in the playoffs.

Predictions for the Wizards vs Pacers Play-In game

The Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers are well matched teams on paper. The Pacers might be coming off of a great win, but they have had their fair share of struggles to find consistency.

The Wizards, meanwhile, have had a fair bit of success against the Pacers in the regular season, sweeping Indy to win all the three games. Pacers haven’t had any answers to Westbrook who has averaged 27.3 points, 20.0 assists, and 18.0 rebounds per game against the Pacers. Given how clueless Pacers have looked against Westbrook in the past, the Wizards might have a slight edge in this matchup.

Washington Wizards: Injury update and lineup prediction

The Wizards will be missing two players through injuries against the Pacers. Center Thomas Bryant is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Rookie Deni Avdija is also sidelined for the season due to an ankle injury.

May 18, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) attempts to steal the ball from Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

This is a must win game for the Wizards if they want to make it to the playoffs. Westbrook and Beal have to come out all guns blazing against the Pacers if they want to win this game.

Probable Lineup

Russell Westbrook (G)

Raul Neto (G)

Bradley Beal (G)

Rui Hachimura (F)

Alex Len (C)

Indiana Pacers injury updates and lineup prediction

The Pacers have multiple injury concerns in their play-in game against the Wizards. TJ Warren is out for the season with a foot injury. Centers Myles Turner is sidelined with a toe injury and is out indefinitely.

Mar 15, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren with center Myles Turner (33) and guard Malcolm Brogdon (7) and guard Caris LeVert (22) and forward Domantas Sabonis (11) and guard Aaron Holiday (3) during a timeout in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Guard Jeremy Lamb is out with a knee injury while star guard Caris LeVert is out due to league’s medical protocols. Even Edmond Sumner and Malcolm Brogdon are questionable against the Wizards.

Probable Lineup

Malcolm Brogdon (G)

Justin Holiday (G)

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Doug McDermott (F)

Oshae Brisset (F)

Domantas Sabonis (C)

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Who will win this play-in game between the Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aditya Mohapatra

874 articles

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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