It seems like it has been forever since the Washington Wizards last played a playoff game. After clinching a second round berth with their game five victory over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday, the Wizards have been waiting patiently to see who their next opponent would be. Washington will play the number one seed Indiana Pacers after they defeated the Atlanta Hawks in game seven on Saturday. Despite being the number one seed, the Pacers have looked very beatable in their first playoff series. The Pacers, much like the Chicago Bulls, rely on their defense and struggle at times to score. If the sub .500 Atlanta Hawks were able to take the Pacers to seven games there is no telling what the high flying, confident Wizards can do in this series. Lets take a deeper look:
Wizards vs. Pacers Schedule:
Game 1: Monday, May 5: Wizards at Pacers (TNT)
Game 2: Wednesday, May 7: Wizards at Pacers (TNT)
Game 3: Friday, May 9: Pacers at Wizards (ESPN)
Game 4: Sunday, May 11: Pacers at Wizards (ABC)
Game 5: Tuesday, May 13: Wizards at Pacers (TNT)
Game 6: Thursday, May 15: Pacers at Wizards (ESPN)
Game 7: Sunday, May 18: Wizards at Pacers
- Obviously games 5-7 are if necessary, expect any weekday game to have 7 or 8 p.m. tip off time and Sunday games to be matinees
Previous Meetings this season: Pacers won series 2-1
1st Meeting: November 29, 2013
Wizards 73 Pacers 93
- I don't know how much you can take away from this game considering how early it was in the season and the Wizards team from November is eons away from the Wizards team heading into this series. None the less, the Pacers dominated the first meeting of the year. Paul George, considered to be the Pacers best player, scored 24 points and had 4 rebounds and assists. Pacers' Lance Stephenson, many consider him the lightning rod of the team, was three points shy of a triple double. If this makes you feel better, the Wizards starting lineup included Jan Vesley and Nene did not play due to an injury. Al Harrington did not play and Andre Miller was not even on the team. I would bet no Wizards fan or player remembers this game, nor should they.
2nd Meeting: January 10, 2014
Wizards 66 Pacers 93
- Despite this game being relatively later in the season it is important to note this was when the Pacers were 17-1 at home and peaking. At the same time, the Wizards were still trying to get over .500 for the first time in six years and seemed to have a mental block. Since their second meeting both teams have went on to have nearly identical records the rest of the season (Wizards 28-20, Pacers 27-19). It is important to note Nene did play in this game and only scored 12 points. The Pacers, similar to the Bulls, pride themselves on defense and will focus on stopping Nene from getting open shots.
3rd Meeting: March 28, 2014
Pacers 78 Wizards 91
- Similar to when the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder came to town, the Wizards brought their A-game in front of a sold out Verizon Center crowd against the Pacers. John Wall lead all scorers with 20 points and Marcin Gortat recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Wizards were able to hold the Pacers to 35% from the field and dominated play the entire game. What should make Wizard fans extra giddy was that Nene was still recovering from his knee injury and did not play in this game. Pacers' center Roy Hibbert was held to eight points and two rebounds. The Wizards can go into this series feeling good having convincingly won their last meeting against the Pacers and watching Indiana, and most notably Hibbert's, struggles in the first round. This series kicks off the 2nd round as the Wizards have an opportunity to reach the NBA Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1978, and we all know what happened then.