Caris LeVert Will Miss Pacers vs. Hornets Play-In Game Due to Health Protocols

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2021

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Indiana Pacers star Caris LeVert will miss Tuesday night's play-in tournament game against the Charlotte Hornets due to the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The ninth-place Pacers and 10th-place Hornets are meeting in the first stage of the NBA's play-in tournament to determine the final two playoff teams. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported LeVert's availability would be in doubt should Indiana advance. He may be out for 10 to 14 days at a minimum, per Charania.

Following LeVert's midseason trade to the Pacers, his debut was delayed because of a small mass on his kidney that required surgery.

The 26-year-old averaged 20.7 points, 4.9 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 35 appearances for Indiana. The franchise went 18-18 following his March 13 debut against the Phoenix Suns.

The Pacers will sorely miss LeVert in the backcourt, and his absence exacerbates what was already a brutal situation in terms of injuries.

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Under the play-in format, whichever team loses in the game between the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds is knocked out of the postseason race.

Given their injury situation, the Pacers' odds of claiming the eighth seed weren't great regardless. They're now without their second-leading scorer, and their scoring leader (Malcolm Brogdon, 21.2 points) is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Indiana's 2020-21 season is looking increasingly likely to come to an end Tuesday.

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