On Tuesday afternoon, it was reported that Caris LeVert would miss the Indiana Pacers‘ NBA play-in game against the Charlotte Hornets due to health and safety protocols.

This won’t be a short-term absence, either. If the Pacers are somehow able to beat the Hornets on Tuesday night and stay alive in the play-in, LeVert is expected to miss 10-14 days. In other words, LeVert’s timetable to return likely wouldn’t be until around the time teams are gearing up for the second round of the playoffs.

The Pacers may beat the Hornets, but you can kiss goodbye any hope of making a surprise playoff run now with LeVert out of the picture.

Caris LeVert has been ruled out for the Pacers’ NBA play-in game against the Hornets on Tuesday night. This leaves the Pacers in a critical position.

Because it’s the Indiana Pacers we’re talking about here, Caris LeVert is far from the only casualty on the roster. Their injury list is lengthy and his absence just caps off a grim outlook for this roster.

According to the team, their May 18th injury report looks like this:

  • Malcolm Brogdon – Questionable (hamstring)
  • Aaron Holiday – Questionable (right toe)
  • Jeremy Lamb – Out (left knee)
  • Domantas Sabonis – Questionable (left quad)
  • Edmond Sumner – Questionable (left knee)
  • Myles Turner – Out (right toe)
  • TJ Warren – Out (left foot)
  • Caris LeVert – Out (health and safety protocols)

Some teams are able to find themselves rounding into form when the playoffs roll around. The Los Angeles Lakers are a prime example of a team that appears to be nearing its healthiest point as the playoffs begin, with only a day-to-day LeBron James on their injury report. Obviously, James will play Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors in their own play-in game.

On the flip side, you have the Pacers, who simply cannot get healthy, no matter who is on their roster.

It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just the predicament this squad finds itself in. Of course, if they had been a healthier team during the regular season, they wouldn’t be in this situation where they must fight to earn a playoff spot through the play-in.

After returning from surgery to remove a cancerous mass from his kidney following his trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Indiana Pacers in the four-team blockbuster James Harden deal, he played well for his new team as the number one option. He averaged 20.7 points, 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game. That’s production this team simply won’t be able to replace on short notice.

The Indiana Pacers are simply a wounded animal without the teeth to defend itself for long. Whether LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets are the team that finishes them off or it’s the Boston Celtics or Washington Wizards, the Pacers are a doomed squad.

It’s just a matter of when and by whose hand they meet their end.



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