Wednesday, May 7 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers vs Wizards, Game 2
Scott Agness | May 5, 2014
Indiana finds itself in a familiar position after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, trailing 1-0 despite playing the first two games in their building. An active, refreshed Washington Wizards team came into Bankers Life Fieldhouse Monday and led for nearly the entire game in a 102-96 victory to steal homecourt advantage.
The common thought going into this series was that it favored the Pacers because the Wizards play a more conventional lineup. However Indiana's toughness and warrior mentality was lacking and the Wizards took advantage of it. Pacers coach Frank Vogel described their play as good in bursts but lacking a punch.
“We were a step slow on the defensive in recognizing their shooters,” he said. “I just think we didn’t play an efficient offensive first quarter, and that was disappointing.”
Slow starts have plagued the Pacers all season and Game 1 was no different. The Pacers recognize the problem and have seen it come back to bite them too many times. Trevor Ariza boomed in two 3-pointers to set the tone for the game, and the Pacers never want an opponent hitting their first shot. That gives them confidence, and it never left Ariza on that night. He made all six of his attempts from beyond the arc.
With a small sample size of one game, the Wizards not only aren’t playing afraid but are still riding high from their opening round win over Chicago. All five starters, who match up nicely with the Pacers, bullied their way offensively and played with the fight necessary in the playoffs. They have a number of guys that can step up, as they did on Monday with six scoring in double figures. Meanwhile, Indiana’s offense clearly lacked a rhythm, which at times forced guys to create on their own. And they turned the ball over at inopportune times.
Indiana’s starters have been vocal about the need need for Roy Hibbert, who failed to score or pull down a rebound in Game 1, to contribute in some form.
“He’s got to be part of the fight,” West said. “He’s got to be part of this thing for us to go anywhere.”
Hibbert said he met with the coaches, reviewed film and has to “change my game plan up a little bit.” That includes being more aggressive, getting position in the post and then converting when the ball is thrown his way. It’s not all on him. His number wasn’t called at all on Monday and in turn, he only attempted two shots. Nonetheless, the biggest impact he needs to make is on the defensive end.
The Pacers scored just 20 points in the paint in Game 1, their lowest total of the season, and they were outrebounded by 17. Despite a sub-par showing, the Pacers only lost by six. They should continue to remain even-keeled, as they have all season, but adjustments are necessary. The goal now is to level the series before heading to Washington D.C. for Games 3 and 4.
Pacers: Andrew Bynum (out, sore right knee)
“This team has a tendency to try to ease into games and ease into to two series now in a row and that’s going to come back to bite us. We got to come out and be more ready to play to start games.” – Frank Vogel
“They beat us. They outplayed us because they’re a really good basketball team. The nation is now finally paying attention but we’ve known about this. People that have competed against them have known how good they are. We just got to rise to the challenge.” – Frank Vogel on the Wizards
“We just got to focus more when we get to the rim. They got Nene, he jump for everything so I think we need to head-fake and draw fouls.”– Lance Stephenson on getting more production inside
“I got to come out and be aggressive. I got to be a different Roy Hibbert than I have been. … I think the most important for me is play aggressive and stay out of foul trouble.” – Roy Hibbert
“We know this thing is not going to be easy. In these series it’s the first to four. Our back’s against the wall. In Game 2, we got to come out with a better level of aggression. We got to make them more uncomfortable.” – David West
“Winning the board battle is important to us. We have to continue to do that for pace. … I liked our pace pretty much all night (in Game 1).” – Wizards coach Randy Wittman
- Wizards coach Randy Wittman, an Indiana native, became the third ever coach to win his first four road playoff games, joining Pat Riley and Mike Dunleavy.
- The Wizards' Game 1 win was their first in Indianapolis since April 18, 2007, a span of 13 games.
- All fans in attendance at Game 2 will receive a gold rally towel.
- Lance Stephenson’s technical foul in Game 7 of the Pacers’ first round Series against the Atlanta Hawks has been rescinded upon League Office review process. With the change, Stephenson now has two technical fouls this postseason. Any player who accumulates seven technical fouls over the course of the playoffs automatically earns a one-game suspension.
May 5: The Wizards bruised their way past the Pacers in Game 1, 102-96, their first win in Indianapolis since April 18, 2007. They had a 13-point lead after the first quarter and led by double digits for much of the night. Bradley Beal stole the show with 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. The Pacers got to within six with 7:41 left but then failed to hit a field goal over the next six minutes.
The Wizards were a well-balanced attack, having six guys finish in double figures. Trevor Ariza was dialed in from long distance, hitting all six of his attempts, as he finished with 22 points. Paul George and George Hill each had 18 points and David West added 15 & 12. The Pacers were held to a season-low 20 points in the paint and were outrebounded by 17.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: TNT - Ian Eagle, Chris Webber and Tracy Wolfson
NOTE: FOX Sports Indiana will air a postgame show immediately following the conclusion of Game 2, hosted by Chris Denari, Quinn Buckner, and Brooke Olzendam./>
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
Select seats remain for Wednesday's Game 2 against the Wizards. Find Tickets »
The Pacers have announced all fans in attendance for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals will receive a free gold rally towel.