The Washington Wizards host the Indiana Pacers in the final game of the Eastern conference play-in tournament for the right to enter the final playoff field. The winner meets the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers while the loser watches the rest of the season from home.
The Wizards are 3.5 point favorites against the Pacers, according to DraftKings SportsBook, despite Indiana’s massive 144-117 win over the Hornets in the opening play-in game. The Pacers are missing three key players in their lineup in Caris LeVert, T.J. Warren and Myles Turner, likely giving Washington the edge.
Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal are no strangers to playoff elimination games. This will be Westbrook’s 15th career win-or-go home playoff game and Beal’s seventh. Here’s how the duo have fared in their previous elimination contests and what that means for the Wizards and bettors looking at this game. For our purposes, an elimination game is where the player’s team must win to stay in the postseason. Series closeout games are not necessarily elimination games, unless it is Game 7.
Performances in Playoff Elimination Games
Russell Westbrook: 27.6 points, 8.5 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 38.7 FG%, 28.7 3P%
Bradley Beal: 27.6 points, 3.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 46.9 FG%, 38.8 3P%
From an efficiency standpoint, Beal performs at a higher level than Westbrook but the volume is similar for both players. If they can combine for similar numbers against the Pacers, the Wizards will be in good shape.
Westbrook and Beal’s record in elimination games is not quite as stellar. Westbrook is 5-9 in elimination contests while Beal is 2-4, but both have had some signature performances to stave off elimination.
Westbrook dropped a triple-double in a Game 7 win over Memphis in 2013-14 and had a 45-point, 15-rebound night to force a Game 7 against Utah in 2018-19. He had 20 points and nine rebounds in Houston’s Game 7 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in last year’s playoffs. Beal put up 33 points on 15-26 shooting in Washington’s Game 6 victory over the Boston Celtics in 2017. He also had a strong showing in a Game 6 loss vs. the Toronto Raptors, going 6-10 from behind the arc en route to 32 points.
The win percentages may not inspire confidence among Wizards fans, but Westbrook and Beal tend to show up in elimination games. Given the stakes vs. the Pacers, expect both to have strong performances at home. The over/under for Beal’s point total stands at 31.5, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Westbrook’s over/under is 25.5. Based on their previous performances in elimination contests, both these numbers have a good chance to go over.