Indiana Pacers (55-26) at Orlando Magic (23-58)
Location: Amway Center — Orlando, FL
Tip: 7:00 p.m. ET
Television: Fox Sports Indiana
Line: ORL -3.5
In their regular season finale, the Indiana Pacers are set to take on the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center in central Florida at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday.
Indiana will do so without three of its starters — David West, Lance Stephenson and Paul George are all expected to sit the game out and rest up for the playoffs, per head coach Frank Vogel.
Orlando has nothing to play for except the possibility of moving up or down in June’s NBA draft lottery. At 23-58, the Magic will finish with one of the worst records in the league, but could be staring at a promising future. Led by rookie Victor Oladipo and a young frontcourt of Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless, Orlando is beginning to build toward 2014-15 and beyond.
They should also add another young talent, or two, in this summer’s draft.
However, there is a season finale to be played for both teams. While Indiana has had a good season overall, Orlando has begun to rebuild after losing their core of Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Glen Davis within the past couple of years.
Despite the records, the Pacers lost in Orlando their last time out, 92-93. Indy blew a 17-point advantage beginning midway through the third quarter and continuing into the fourth. The blue and gold still had a chance at the end, but the Magic rally proved too much for Indiana to handle.
George Hill and Roy Hibbert are slated to start the game along with the likely trio of Luis Scola, Evan Turner and Rasual Butler. It is very likely Ian Mahinmi and Chris Copeland could see heavy minutes tonight, as well as Lavoy Allen and Donald Sloan.
Vogel also plans to rest reserve point guard C.J. Watson for precautionary reasons. Watson has been battling a couple injuries over the past month.
Prediction: If the game in Milwaukee on April 9 is any indication, the reserves should play a large role in the game tonight. All five starters sat out the game against the Bucks a week ago today and watched as the reserves pulled out a 104-102 victory. Tonight’s game is anyone’s guess, but I see Orlando outlasting the Pacers, 97-92.
Tags: Indiana Pacers