Preview: Washington Wizards look to capitalize against beat-up Indiana Pacers

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Finally healthy, the Washington Wizards have a chance to beat up on a broken-down Indiana Pacers squad.

The Washington Wizards are getting healthy. Troy Brown Jr is back in the mix. C.J. Miles made his Wizards debut last game in a win over the Detroit Pistons. Jordan McRae‘s return is imminent.

The same cannot be said about the Indiana Pacers. The team was already starting the season in a hole with their All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo recovering from last season’s quadricep injury. Then Domantas Sabonis went down with a calf injury. Then Myles Turner sprained his ankle. Then Jeremy Lamb sprained his ankle. Yikes.

The Pacers are shorthanded, to say the least, and have exhibited some forced rotational creativity as a result. In just seven games this season, the Pacers have already trotted out four different starting lineups. Consistency has been hard to come by.

Not only are they coming into their contest with the Wizards as a broken squad, they’re also coming in as a tired one. Their game against the Wizards is the second of a back-to-back for Indiana and comes a day after the Pacers lost a gut-wrencher to the Charlotte Hornets. Before coming home to Indiana to take on the Wizards, the Pacers fell to the Hornets in overtime, 122-120. Despite high expectations for the Pacers coming into the season, they’ve now dropped games to the Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers, two teams certainly bound for the lottery.

Just because they’re shorthanded, though, doesn’t mean this will be an easy win for the Wizards. Remember what happened when the Wizards faced a shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves team without Karl-Anthony Towns? Yeah. And they were at home for that one.

If the Wizards want to get the win tonight, they’ll need to stop Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon has been the lone bright spot for the Pacers during their unfortunate start to the season. The ever-efficient guard, who the Pacers poached from the Milwaukee Bucks via free agency, leads the team in points and assists per game, averaging 23.7 and 9.4 respectively.

Brogdon sets the pace for the Pacers, which is objectively slow. The Pacers currently rank 24th in the NBA in pace, averaging 100.1 possessions per 48 minutes. The Wizards average over five more possessions per game than the Pacers.

Next. Washington Wizards 2019-20 Season Preview: Pacers. dark

We’ve seen that the Wizards have no trouble putting up points, topping 110 in three of their first six games. The best way to beat this broken down Pacers team might be to simply run them out of their own building. Besides, the Wizards were off the day before this game. The Pacers, on the other hand, played 52 minutes of basketball versus the Hornets.

The Wizards should treat this game like a track meet and see if their opponents can keep up. That way, they might just run out of Indiana with a win.