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Wizards vs. Pacers preview: It’s do or die time in Washington’s final play-in game

Win and you’re in. Lose and there will be changes

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers
Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards have one more shot to make the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

It all comes to .... Thursday. The Washington Wizards will play the Indiana Pacers tomorrow night in a winner-take-all, make-or-break the season game in the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament!

Game Info

When: Thursday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

How to watch: TNT; NBC Sports Washington

Injury Report

Wizards: Bradley Beal (Quad, Day-to-Day); Deni Avdija (Ankle, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out)

Pacers: Jeremy Lamb (Knee, Questionable); Myles Turner (Toe, Out); T.J. Warren (Foot, Out), Caris LeVert (Coronavirus protocols, Out)

What’s at stake: E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

The Wizards must win tonight to get the No. 8 seed in the 2021 NBA Playoffs where they will face the Philadelphia 76ers. Washington had a chance to get a possibly more favorable matchup against the Boston Celtics if they won yesterday. But they had NO gameplan for Jayson Tatum, who scored 50 points in a 118-100 blowout loss. Yes, Bradley Beal wasn’t his normal self. But you’d think the Wizards would have kept the turnovers down or double-teamed Tatum more.

Washington came into this season with postseason hopes. They were sorta accomplished by making this tournament, but the Wizards would have preferred to have made a Top-6 seed in the East. While their run in the last month and a half of the regular season was great, they gave away 10 games (an 0-5 regular season start and an 0-5 post All-Star Break start) which put them in this position in the first place.

Maybe Washington beats the Pacers, whom they swept 3-0 in the regular season. Given that this is a home game and the Wizards have had Indiana’s number, I’ll go ahead and say that the Wizards will pull through. But if Washington loses tomorrow, they’re headed for the lottery, and perhaps we’ll get the coaching changes that many fans have clamored for since ... 2017.

I think Osman Baig put it out best based on how many of you feel:

Go Wizards.