The Pacers will need to bring the same fire on Thursday against a Wizards team that has taken it to Indiana this season. Washington swept three games with the Blue & Gold and had their way offensively, averaging 139.7 points over those contests. In their last visit to Washington on May 3, the Pacers gave up 154 points — tied for the most points in the NBA all season and one point shy of the most ever by a Pacers opponent.
Westbrook, in particular, has wreaked havoc on the Pacers. The former MVP has averaged an eye-popping 27.3 points, 18 rebounds, and 20 assists against Indiana this season. Beal has been a problem, too, dropping 50 points in 39 minutes at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on May 8.
Slowing down that duo will not be an easy task and it won't help that the Pacers will be without a guard capable of matching Beal or Westbrook shot for shot, as Caris LeVert remains out due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. Leading scorer Malcolm Brogdon did return on Tuesday, however, after missing 10 games with a hamstring injury. The 6-5 Brogdon, 6-6 Justin Holiday, and 6-4 Edmond Sumner will probably be the primary defenders responsible for marking Westbrook and Beal, though containing them will be a team task.
Is Sumner the best option defensively we have against Westbrook? Brogdon isn't known for his defense, and Justin Holiday struggled against WB in the last regular season matchup with the Wizards. I'm assuming we won't see much Aaron Holiday?