May 11, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Nene Hilario (42) and is fouled during the fourth quarter of game four of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Indiana Pacers defeated Washington Wizards 95-92. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2014 Semi-Finals, Wizards vs. Pacers: Game 5 Preview, Notes and Prediction Poll


After botching a 19 point lead at home, the Washington Wizards find themselves down 1-3 to the number one seeded Indiana Pacers and will have to return to the road in a win or go home situation. Game 5 will tip off at 7:00pm from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Notes:

  • Paul George had a career-playoff game against the Wizards in Game 4, scoring 39 points to go along side 11 rebounds. Trevor Ariza has done a pretty good job defensively against George all series long, but he allowed him to get into a rhythm early on and there was no stopping George. Ariza has to do a better job at defending without fouling, or overplaying.
  • Al Harrington and Drew Gooden combined for 21 points off the bench in Game 4. With that said, Marcin Gortat‘s minutes were limited and Roy Hibbert was able to get some key baskets down the stretch as a result. I’m interested to see how Randy Wittman adjusts in Game 5, if he chooses to at all.
  • Bradley Beal was the only Wizards starter who seemed to have a ‘good’ game on Sunday, as he went on to score 20 points on 50% shooting to go along side 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

Key Match Up:

John Wall has been struggling all series long against Indiana and his struggles were unfortunately on full display in Game 4 where he showed little confidence and hesitated virtually every time he touched the ball. The Pacers have done a great job at clogging the paint, forcing Wall to make some quick decisions, which have resulted into turnovers. Game 5 is a win or go home contest for the Wizards and John Wall can’t afford to play hesitant basketball. Simply put, he has nothing to lose. In all honesty, I rather see Washington lose if John Wall shoots 20 times on 30% shooting, than to see him struggle on limited shots with no confidence. He’s passed up on way too many shots at the basket in order to kick the ball out, which hasn’t really worked since Game 1 of the series.

Wall can’t allow George Hill to penetrate like he did in Game 4, making it a lot tougher on the bigs to recover to their positions in the post. Wall has to play aggressive, force Hill into tough perimeter shots and create turnovers. John Wall is best when he’s attacking the basket and creating offense from defense, but we haven’t really been able to see that against the Pacers. Wall has to play like this is the last game of the season, which it certainly could be.

Prediction:

Who's Going to Win Game 5?

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Tags: George Hill John Wall Nba Playoffs Nba Playoffs 2014 Washington Wizards Wizards Vs Pacers