Indiana Pacers G Caris Levert is expected to miss Tuesday’s NBA play-in tournament game vs. the Charlotte Hornets after being placed in health and safety protocols, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported early in the day. This is a huge blow to the Pacers’ chances of advancing out of the play-in tourney. Indiana is already dealing with a ton of injuries heading into Tuesday night.
The Pacers mentioned on Monday that PG Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) is going to be a game-time decision, while Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumner are also dealing with injuries heading into the game. If Brogdon and LeVert are both out, that’s the Pacers’ starting backcourt that won’t be able to play. This is a pretty bad break for the Pacer, who according to Caitlin Cooper of Indy Cornrows, were the team to lose the least amount of games to health and safety protocols this season.
Such tough news for Caris. Indiana suffered the least days in Covid protocols this season, per @fansure_sports. https://t.co/4lE5zbclTp pic.twitter.com/y2JSS3gZeG— Caitlin Cooper (@C2_Cooper) May 18, 2021
Prior to this news, DraftKings Sportsbook had the Pacers as 2.5 point favorites on the spread while coming in at -143 on the moneyline to beat the Hornets. The lines are sure to adjust after this news and we could see them move down to more of a pick ‘em. If you can react fast enough, the Hornets appear to be a good value play until the lines fix themselves.
Update: The Pacers have moved from -3.5 to -1.5 on DKSB after the news and are -122 on the moneyline. The O/U is at 227, which isn’t any different from before. There still appears to be some value in the Hornets getting points. Indy could be without LeVert and Brogdon and most of the roster is banged up. Charlotte is in good health and has some young, hungry players on the roster.
With Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis’ statuses up in the air, the LeVert news could put the Pacers in a big hole. In terms of the Showdown contest on DraftKings, it gives Indy a ton of good value. TJ McConnell ($11,100) could be a popular captain if Brogdon is ruled out. He could see in the range of 35-40 minutes in such an important game and has triple-double upside. McConnell would be very, very chalky. If Aaron Holiady ($2,800) is OK and plays, he’s the other value in the backcourt.