Two NBA playoff mainstays will be watching from home when the playoffs begin on Saturday.
With their loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Indiana Pacers were eliminated from the playoffs. And despite beating the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from playoff contention when the New Orleans Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs.
The return of Paul George wasn’t enough to save the Pacers’ playoff hopes. George played his first game of the season on April 5th, but let this game early due to a calf injury. The Pacers finished 38-44 on the year, tied with Brooklyn but losing out because of the tiebreaker.
Meanwhile, the Thunder couldn’t recover from the significant injury woes the team faced all season.
Kevin Durant missed 55 games, Russell Westbrook 15 and Serge Ibaka 18 and the Thunder still won 45 games in the West.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 16, 2015
The Thunder also missed out on the playoffs due to the tiebreaker after finishing the season with a 45-37 record.
A late season loss to the Utah Jazz is certainly one the Thunder would like to have back, as is the loss to the New York Knicks on January 28th. But most of all, the Thunder would’ve just liked to be healthy.
Without Durant and Westbrook to start the season, the team started 3-12, a whole that proved too large to get out of.