Preview: Pacers at Bucks
The Indiana Pacers took any suspense out of the final game of the regular season when they knocked off the New York Knicks while the Detroit Pistons were falling on Tuesday.
The Pacers will get their final tune up for the postseason when they visit the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.Indiana’s 102-90 win over New York coupled with Detroit’s home loss to Miami locked up the No. 7 seed. The Pacers will begin the playoffs at the second-seeded Toronto Raptors this weekend and are already looking ahead to the tough matchup.
“We’re going to have our hands tied with them,” Pacers point guard George Hill told reporters of the Raptors. “They’re a great team, they’ve got a lot of great players, and they’re well-coached. It’s going to take a team effort.”
The Bucks are slumping to the finish with losses in nine of their last 12 games and are not putting up much of a fight against potential playoff teams.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE PACERS (44-37): Hill scored 19 points in Tuesday’s win, including 12 in a key run during the third quarter, and is expected to be one of the X-factors in the playoffs for Indiana. “We’ve got to be like a bug in his ear, constantly just chipping away at him,” Pacers All-Star Paul George told reporters of Hill. “Because he has so much talent and it’s not being used (when he’s not aggressive).” Indiana is coming into the season finale strong with wins in five of the last six games, though the lone loss in that span came at the Raptors.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (33-48): Milwaukee’s last three victories have come over three teams headed for the lottery in Philadelphia, Orlando and Phoenix, and it could not manage to pull off the same trick twice when it fell at the Magic on Monday. Even budding star Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to be slowing down at the end of the season and he finished with 11 points, three assists and five turnovers in Monday’s 107-98 setback. That comes on the heels of a 4-of-15 effort in Sunday’s 109-108 overtime win at the 76ers.
1. Bucks G Jerryd Bayless (knee) sat out the last six games but could return for the finale.
2. Hill is 9-of-13 from 3-point range in the last four games.
3. Indiana took two of the first three this season, including a 104-99 win in Milwaukee on March 2.
PREDICTION: Bucks 109, Pacers 90