Pacers at Wizards

Game Preview: Pacers at Wizards

Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM ET at the Verizon Center
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Matchup

After dropping their Friday night matchup with the red-hot Hornets, things don't get any easier for the Pacers.

Indiana goes wheels-up and touches down in the nation's capital for a meeting with John Wall and the Wizards on Saturday night.

The game has a playoff vibe to it, with the Wizards pushing for a spot in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, and the Pacers fighting to stay in the mix.

TICKETS: Pacers vs Spurs - Monday, March 7 »

Indiana started its four-game road trip off on the right foot with a win over Milwaukee. However, on Friday, Indiana couldn't keep the Hornets at bay in the fourth quarter, as they buzzed by the Pacers, outscoring them 28-19 in the final quarter.

On the bright side, Paul George racked up 35 points, connecting on four 3-pointers and hitting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. George was also able to distribute seven dimes, grab seven rebounds, and limit himself to just one turnover.

But on Saturday, the Pacers will be playing a road game on the second night of a back-to-back, a situation that hasn't been kind to them this season. So far, Indiana has lost all seven of its games on the second night of road back-to-backs.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

The Wizards will also be dealing with the fatigue of a back-to-back, having lost 108-83 to the Cavaliers on Friday. However, the Wizards had won their previous four games prior to their loss on Friday.

Against Charlotte, Indiana tried to counter the Hornets' spread lineup by starting Solomon Hill. But against the Wizards, who start the newly-acquired Markieff Morris at power forward, expect the Pacers to return to their usual starting lineup featuring Myles Turner at the four.

The Pacers have certainly shown promise with the starting five of G. Hill-Ellis-George-Turner-Mahinmi, but as the season narrows down to its final stretch, time is running out for the Pacers to be ironing out the wrinkles. With the playoffs far from a guarantee, Indiana needs to start stringing wins together if it hopes to make noise in the crowded Eastern Conference.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - George Hill, SG - Monta Ellis, SF - Paul George, PF - Myles Turner, C - Ian Mahinmi
Wizards: PG - John Wall, SG - Garrett Temple, SF - Otto Porter, PF - Markieff Morris, C - Marcin Gortat

Injury Report

Pacers: C.J. Miles - questionable (strained left calf)

Wizards: Alan Anderson – questionable (left ankle)

Last Meeting

January 15, 2016: John Wall and Bradley Beal shot the lights out at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, combining for 50 points en route to a 118-104 win over the Pacers.

"They took the fight to us," Paul George said after the loss. "It was like they (were) comfortable from the get go. You can't do that, you can't let a team get comfortable."

Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, though he made just 6-of-19 shots overall and 1-of-7 from 3-point range. George Hill added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Monta Ellis chipped in 17. Allen joined them in double figures, scoring a season-high 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

The game was put out of reach early on, with the Wizards outscoring the Pacers 35-19 in the second quarter.

Noteworthy

  • This will be the third and final game between the two teams this season and could have playoff implications should a tiebreaker be needed. Each team has picked up a win
  • When the Pacers won the first meeting, Indiana set an NBA record, hitting 73.1 percent of its 3-point attempts, the highest mark for a team that attempted at least 19 from long range
  • The Wizards rank fifth in the NBA in steals, and sixth in assists

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)

Tickets

David West returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time as a member of the San Antonio Spurs on Monday, March 7. Reserve your seats today: Find Tickets »

Away Game Night Special

Select Long Sleeve Tee - $15. Game Night Specials can be purchased online the day of each away game from 10:00 AM - Midnight. Order Online »