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Pacers vs. Wizards: Preview and game thread

The Pacers look for their first win in the nation’s capital.

2021 Play-In Tournament - Indiana Pacers v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Pacers remain on the road to start the season when they play the Washington Wizards in D.C. on Friday night.

That also means, the Pacers will be the visitors for yet another home opener in a season when fans returning to the arena for real games is a real thing. Charlotte fans certainly helped motivate the Hornets during their third quarter run in the Pacers opener once they finally had something to cheer for.

The juice at Capital One Arena should be high as the home fans welcome the Wiz who punished the Raptors in their opener on the road. Toronto’s offense doesn’t appear to potent this year, but regardless, Washington held the Raps to 83 points in the opener en route to an easy 98-83 win. This despite a rough shooting night (5 for 27 from 3) for the Wizards which the Pacers can’t rely on happening again.

Rick Carlisle indicated he would extend the playing rotation past the tight eight squad he used in the opener. Who and how the ninth and maybe tenth man will be should be interesting. Hopefully, it will mean leaning less on Domas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon to play 40 minutes per game, which is not a good long term trend.

Of course, the Pacers played 40 strong minutes against Charlotte, but the oof factor in the other eight minutes left the blue and gold with a loss. In game two, they have to get closer to 48 minutes of quality play to avoid coming home 0-2.

Also, keep an eye on who is in the lineup with a few players, including Bradley Beal showing up as questionable.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

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

TV: Bally Sports Indiana

Radio: 93.5 FM/107.5 FM

Projected Starting Lineups:

Pacers: Malcolm Brogdon, Chris Duarte, Justin Holiday, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner

Wizards: Spencer Dinwiddie, Bradley Beal, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Daniel Gafford

Injury update:

IND: Justin Holiday - questionable (ankle), Jeremy Lamb - questionable (wrist), Torrey Craig - questionable (shoulder), Caris LeVert – out (sore back), Kelan Martin - out (sore left hamstring), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)

WAS: Bradley Beal - questionable (right hip contusion), Thomas Bryant - out (left knee injury recovery), Rui Hachimura - out (not with team), Cassius Winston - out (left hamstring strain)

Please leave your thoughts and observations on the game in the comments.