The Pacers will be without this key player in matchup vs. Timberwolves

The Indiana Pacers take on the best team in the West on Thursday night. They will have to do so without a key player.

Mar 3, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle looks on in the first
Mar 3, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle looks on in the first / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
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Coming off a big win and season sweep of the Mavericks, the Indiana Pacers are back home. They take on the best team in the West on Thursday night, that being the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota comes into town with a 43-19 record, which is the second-best in the NBA.

The Pacers are still in 8th in the Eastern Conference, although they do sit just one game back of the 6th spot held by the Heat. A win against the Timberwolves would be a great step to closing that gap and getting themselves out of one of the play-in spots.

On Thursday morning, the Pacers got some good news. It was announced that Karl Anthony-Towns has a torn meniscus and is out indefinitely. He will miss the Pacers game. While you never like to see injuries, this one does help Indiana. Unfortunately, they are dealing with an injury issue of their own to a key player.

The Indiana Pacers will be without Bennedict Mathurin vs. Minnesota

The Pacers will be without one of their top players off the bench. Bennedict Mathurin will miss the game because of a shoulder injury. He is added to the injury report and joins Doug McDermott, who is missing his fifth-straight game because of a calf strain.

It's not ideal to be missing one of your top bench scorers against one of the top defensive teams in the league. Mathurin is one of the few guys on the team who can create his own shot off the dribble. He also can make some tough, contested shots when the shot clock is dwindling.

The good news is that this injury doesn't seem like a long-term thing. Hopefully, it's just a one-game absence for Mathurin and he can get back on the court soon. In the meantime, we could see Jarace Walker get some minutes with both bench wings injured.

I'm intrigued to see what Walker can do against a really good defensive team. He played well against the Spurs in his last game action but was a DNP-CD against the Mavs. It's time we start seeing him get a little bit more time. A good game against the Wolves could help make that happen.