Apr 6, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) defends Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill (3) during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers (Key Match Up, Notes, and Prediction)


The Wizards are on a roll after winning three straight games, but they’ll look to try and upset the Indiana Pacers on the road tonight, who are sporting just one loss so far in the season. The game will tip off at 8:00 PM EST from the Bakers Life Fieldhouse.

Key Match Up:

Coming off arguably his best game of the season, Marcin Gortat will have his hands full against one of the league’s best defensive big men and All-Star, Roy Hibbert. The NBA has shifted it’s focus from centers, but Hibbert has still managed to impact the league and has propelled the Pacers into legitimate contenders. Even though Paul George is playing at an MVP level, Roy Hibbert is the backbone of the Pacers defense which ranks atop the NBA in virtually every category. Averaging nearly 12 points and 9 rebounds per game, Hibbert has effected his team more so defensively with an outstanding 3.9 blocks per game. Unless something unexpected occurs, Hibbert is a shoe in for Defensive Player of the Year.

I don’t expect Marcin Gortat to repeate his 25 point performance from a few nights ago, but he has to find a way to score the ball for the Wizards to compete tonight. Without Bradley Beal, who leads the Wizards in scoring, they have to find a way to make up for his point production. Martell Webster has done a pretty good job scoring from the perimeter, but Gortat needs to continue helping the Wizards on the offensive side of the floor. Roy Hibbert has been a monster defensively, so it should be a fun match up.

Notes:

  • The Indiana Pacers are the best defensive team in the NBA. With that said, the Wizards have a better offensive rating than the Pacers. So…?
  • Al Harrington might be ready to go tonight. He’s sat out the last few games with a “sore knee”.
  • I’m interested to see when Otto Porter will return, or if he’ll be ready tonight.
  • The Pacers have yet to lose a game at home.

Prediction:

Washington, like many other Eastern Conference teams, aren’t a very good team on the road. Although they’re better than in year’s past, the Indiana Pacers are still the best NBA team in the league and beating them would certainly be a surprise. The Wizards are used to overpowering opposing frontcourts with Nene and Gortat, but they won’t have the luxury tonight when going up against David West and Roy Hibbert.

John Wall still has the overwhelming advantage against George Hill, but I think we’d need to see a scoring explosion from him for the Wizards to leave Indianapolis with a ‘W’. Tonight, the Wizards will basically depend on Trevor Ariza and his defensive prowess against Paul George to stay competitive. Even though I don’t think the Wizards have enough firepower to get the win, a moral victory wouldn’t be too bad against a team like the Indiana Pacers.

Tags: John Wall Marcin Gortat Nba Game Preview Paul George Roy Hibbert Washington Wizards Wizards Pacers

  • Berdj Rassam

    The Pacers should have no problem defeating the Wizards.