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'Locked On Pacers' discusses Caris LeVert's return and a tough loss to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers

Hosts Tony East and Adam Friedman have an in-depth discussion about Caris LeVert's return to the court, the Pacers loss the Lakers, and the week ahead for the team.
Credit: AP
Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert (22) drives past Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March. 13, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

INDIANAPOLIS — On today's episode, hosts Tony East and Adam Friedman broke down Caris LeVert's Indiana Pacers debut and a Pacers loss in Los Angeles to the Lakers.

Caris LeVert makes his Indiana Pacers debut

Caris LeVert had surgery to remove a cancerous mass on his kidney on Jan. 26. On Saturday, he made his debut for the Indiana Pacers in a 122-111 win. LeVert added another ball-handling threat to the Pacers' offense and created more stability for the team's rotation. His inclusion in the lineup should be a boon for the blue and gold long term.

"It was nice for the Pacers to have another scoring option on the floor," Friedman said of LeVert's debut

Pacers blow a lead in L.A. and lose to LeBron James and the Lakers

The Pacers had a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter last Friday, but they fell flat in the fourth quarter and fell to the Los Angeles Lakers, 105-100. LeBron James took over the game down the stretch and Indiana's second unit faltered when the score got close. The Pacers' bench will have to be better in close games moving forward.

"The fourth quarter was really when the Pacers bench struggled...that unit doesn't work that well together," East said.

Credit: AP
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, drives to the basket between Indiana Pacers guard Jeremy Lamb, left, and guard Aaron Holiday (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

What are the Pacers up against this week?

With the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament taking place in Indianapolis this month, the Pacers will play many games on the road, and most of their opponents are tough. They need to steal some wins this week, they have some winnable games against a few teams missing key pieces.

"Caris [LeVert] will want to play his absolute best against his former team on Wednesday," East said.

Upcoming Pacers schedule:
March 15 at Denver
March 17 vs. Brooklyn
March 19 at Miami
March 21 at Miami
March 22 at Milwaukee