Playoff Preview: Washington Wizards vs. Indiana Pacers


The Washington Wizards will enter the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in nine years.  In just five games, the Wiz were excellent in easily dispatching the number four seeded Chicago Bulls.  Now, Washington will turn their attention a more daunting test: the number one overall seeded Indiana Pacers.

Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Backcourt-The point and shooting guard positions have been a major point of emphasis for the Wizards throughout the 2014 playoffs.  In the offseason, John Wall, the 2010 number one overall pick, signed a maximum contract and has since been worth the money after navigating the Wizards past a Derrick Rose-less Bulls team.  George Hill and the Pacers should prove to be a tougher test, but its rather unlikely Hill can guard the speedy Wall.  At the other guard position, Bradley Beal and Lance Stevenson should be one of the more intriguing matchups in the series.  Both love to score points, are young, and could determine who wins the series.

Frontcourt– The Indiana Pacers had relied heavily on the frontcourt play of veterans Paul George, Roy Hibbert, and David West.  For about the last 40 games, the trio, outside of George, has let down the Pacers and has been a major reason for the team’s struggles.  Although Washington may not have the talent of Indiana, Washington’s group of Trevor Ariza, Nene, and Marcin Gortat have drastically elevated their game in the post season and Indiana could have troubles handling the scoring and depth of the group.

Washington is hot and when the playoffs come down to who’s playing better right now, the simple choice is the Washington Wizards.  The Wizards have proven they can score with the best in the league averaging 100.7 points per game.  On the other hand, the Pacers have scored just 96.7 points per game and could face a plethora of problems in their matchup with Washington.  Although Indiana took two of three from the Wizards in the regular season, both of those wins came early in the season when the Pacers looked like a completely different team.  Prediction: Wizards in 6.