Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers at Wizards, Game 5
Scott Agness | May 12, 2014, 1:30 AM
The Pacers handled their business on the road, taking both Games 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C. With a 3-1 series lead, they have given themselves the opportunity to finish off the Wizards on their own floor and move on to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive season.
The Pacers have been victorious in three straight games after dropping Game 1 at home. By this point, four games in, the teams are very familiar with each other and their respective play calls.
For the Wizards, it’s about playing at their up-tempo pace and not allowing the Pacers to get back and get setup in their half-court defense. It’s about containing Paul George, winning the battle of the paint and getting to the free throw line.
As for the Pacers, they cannot let the Wizards play at their pace. They have to keep their turnovers down, which prevents points in transition for the Wizards, and they have to clamp down on defense. This team was built on defense and rim protection, so that department must remain strong. Lastly, they cannot dig themselves a deep hole and expect to see their way out of it, as they did in Sunday’s win.
Since his zero-point, zero-rebound performance in Game 1, Roy Hibbert is averaging 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game over the last three contests. When he has "it", particularly on defense, the Pacers are undoubtedly a better team. Coach Frank Vogel’s confidence hasn’t wavered and he – along with the entire team – is being justly rewarded.
The Pacers were given Monday off, likely to combat tired legs after all five starters played more than 37 minutes in Sunday’s win. George equaled his playoff high with 47 minutes, and he didn’t get a breather in the second half. His 39 points and defense on Bradley Beal makes his performance even more “special,” as Vogel described it afterwards.
Best-case scenario for the Pacers: they get off to an excellent start and put their foot down on the Wizards’ throat, not allowing them to breathe in truly a must-win game for the visitors. Indiana has the talent, and it has the experience to close out the series. The Pacers must come out strong, stick to their principles, feed off the crowd’s energy and not give the Wizards any hope.
“We got to win Game 5. That’s our only mindset.” – Frank Vogel
“We are going to be at home in front of our fans with the opportunity to close this series. This team has handled those situations well and again, we’re going to put the pressure on ourselves to handle our business.” – David West
“He’s getting his mojo back. We’re just going to continue to keep him confident because when he performs and plays well, we’re a better team.” – David West on Roy Hibbert
“We know (Washington’s) going to come back desperate with their back against the wall punching, so we’re sure Bankers Life is going to be filled with excitement and we just have to get it done on the defensive end.” – George Hill
“We always seem to have that one quarter, that one quarter that kind of gets away from us and that’s what we got to eliminate. Especially deep in these playoffs, you can’t have quarters (like that.) – Paul George
“All I can say is we are strong. We stuck together. We kept everybody level headed, and told everybody to just worry about what is going on in the locker room. Do not let off the court stuff bother you.” – Lance Stephenson
“Already in this playoffs, we’ve proven we can win three games in a row. We did it against Chicago winning three games in a row. We’ve got to take it one game at a time. We’ve got to go back to Indy, we’ve got to get one game. Then we’ll worry about Game Six after Game Five. Three of the four games have been a dogfight and we’re in the fight, now we’ve just got to win that fight.” – Wizards coach Randy Wittman
May 11: The two All-Stars, Paul George and Roy Hibbert, helped Indiana overcome a 17-point halftime deficit in a 95-92 win on the Wizards’ home floor. The Pacers were outscored by 18 points in the second period, managing just three field goals and 11 points. The second half was a different story, however, as they controlled the tempo and got 28 points from George, who finished with a playoff career-high 39 and hit seven 3-pointers in a winning effort. A 20-4 run to close a dominant third quarter was critical in narrowing the gap.
The starters got it done for the Pacers, accounting for 93 of their 95 points. Roy Hibbert finished with 17 points and nine rebounds and George Hill added 15. The Wizards had six players with 10 or more points, led by 20 from Bradley Beal. Trevor Ariza contributed 16 and John Wall was kept to 12. The Pacers turned the ball over 20 times and gave up 18 fast-break points, all in the first half, but they maintained their belief and strung stops together defensively.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: TNT – Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst), Tracy Wolfson (reporter)
NOTE: FOX Sports Indiana will air a postgame show immediately following the conclusion of Game 5, 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)
Good seats are still available for Game 5. Find Tickets »