Should the Pacers prefer the Hornets or the Wizards in the play-in round?

Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Here we go. The Indiana Pacers’ regular season is coming to a close and with the team locked in at either 9th or 10th following last night’s loss against the Lakers, they do not need a crystal ball to see their eventual fate.

Whether the Pacers sneak back into the playoffs or head straight to the lottery will be answered by how they fare against their play-in opponents. And now, the list has narrowed down to two: the Charlotte Hornets and the Washington Wizards.

After missing out on the eighth seed, Indiana will find itself in a sudden death match to stave off elimination. Alas, between the Hornets and the Wizards, which team will give the Pacers a better shot at victory in a single winner-takes-all game?

At full strength, the Pacers deploy a much better team over Charlotte and Washington. But this is only in theory, especially with the Navy and Gold once again bridled by the proverbial injury bug. No matter where you look at it, Indiana goes into the play-in tournament as undisputed underdogs, more so since a lot of key players’ playing statuses remain up in the air.

Now, can the Indiana Pacers go berserk in one game and crash all odds? Absolutely. Can they still beat the Hornets or the Wizards without the occasional outburst? Yes, but the likelihood varies between each team.