Friday, May 9 at 8:00 PM ET at Verizon Center
Game Preview: Pacers at Wizards, Game 3
Scott Agness | May 8, 2014
The Pacers head to the East Coast for Games 3 and 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Washington Wizards. Once going down 1-0, they evened it up with a Game 2 win on Wednesday. Now it’s the Wizards’ turn to counter with a few adjustments in the dynamics of an NBA postseason.
One adjustment the Pacers made in Game 2 was having Paul George guard Bradley Beal rather than Trevor Ariza. Beal shot below 50 percent, including 2-of-6 from outside. George Hill did an admirable job covering John Wall, who Indiana refers to as “the head of the snake.” Wall scored just six points, his lowest output of the postseason.
The biggest change for Indiana was Roy Hibbert appearing and imposing his will all game long. He put his body on the line, diving after loose balls and getting in great position in the post. Once the entry pass was sent his way, his teammates felt he took his time and truly concentrated. He ended the night with a game-high 28 points.
Indiana doesn’t need that kind of performance from him every night, particularly on the offensive end, but they need him to protect the rim, grab rebounds and be aggressive. Meantime, Paul George has struggled offensively, going 9-of-30 from the field this series yet he’s constantly a threat on the floor.
For the Pacers, there will continue to be an emphasis on starting games well. Coach Vogel said earlier this week that he hasn’t liked the way they’ve not only eased into these games, but into their two series’. They stepped on the gas in Game 2 and never trailed by more than six points all night.
Indiana’s defense was strong Wednesday night, holding the Wizards to 82 points. All five playoff games that they’ve won, they have held their opponent below 90 points. With a win on Friday, the Pacers can take home-court advantage right back from the Wizards and put them down in the series for the first time.
“We've got to go win a game in their building. We've got to continue to make them work to score.” – David West
“Just not be complacent. We can't be happy about the game (Wednesday).” – Paul George
“My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball in my sweet spot and believing in me. … We have a lot of trust. I appreciate those guys a lot. Despite whatever ups and down I’ve had, they’ve always had my back.” – Roy Hibbert
May 7: The Pacers bounced back from a Game 1 loss with a 86-82 win Wednesday night. Roy Hibbert was the player of the game, finishing with 28 points (on 10-of-13 shooting) and nine rebounds. The Pacers hounded the Wizards defensively, limiting them to just one fast-break point and 24 percent from long range. George Hill put the Pacers in front for good with a layup at the rim and David West secured it with two late free throws.
On an off night for Paul George (11 points on 5-of-13 shooting, and six rebounds), three other guys scored in double figures. Hill had 14 and Stephenson added 12, 10 scored in the third frame. Marcin Gortat led the Wizards with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Bradley Beal finished with 17 points and seven assists. The Pacers shot a postseason-best 86 percent from the free throw line, where they outscored the Wizards by 13.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: TNT – Mark Jones (play-by-play), Doris Burke (analyst), Chris Broussard (reporter)
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, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Michael Grady (studio host)