Pacers at Wizards

Game Preview: Pacers at Wizards

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM ET at Verizon Center
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

The Pacers (1-3) head to Washington, D.C. on the second night of a back-to-back to take on the Wizards (3-1) on Wednesday. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since Indiana eliminated Washington in six games in last spring's Eastern Conference Semifinals.

While the Pacers are battling injuries right now, the team's biggest concern has been taking care of the ball. After committing 18 turnovers in each of their first three games, Indiana coughed the ball up 19 times in Tuesday's loss to the Bucks, which resulted in 28 points on the opposite end. If the Blue-and-Gold hope to stop their three-game skid, they'll need to do a better job of not giving the opposition easy points.

Washington made a big splash over the summer, signing 10-time All-Star Paul Pierce to replace Trevor Ariza, who signed with Houston, at small forward. With the addition of Pierce, Washington has arguably the best starting five in the Eastern Conference, with the bruising duo of Nene and Marcin Gortat in the post and talented rising stars John Wall and Bradley Beal in the backcourt. Beal, however, won't play on Wednesday, as he recovers from a fractured wrist suffered during the preseason.

Wednesday's game is the first of two meetings this week between the Wizards and the Pacers. Washington will visit Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Donald Sloan, SG - C.J. Miles, SF - Solomon Hill, PF - Luis Scola, C - Roy Hibbert
Wizards: PG - John Wall, SG - Garrett Temple, SF - Paul Pierce, PF - Nene, C - Marcin Gortat

Injury Report

Pacers: Paul George - out (rehabilitation, fractured right tibia/fibula), George Hill - out (left knee contusion), C.J. Watson - out (bruised right foot), David West - out (sprained right ankle), Rodney Stuckey - questionable (sore left foot)
Wizards: Bradley Beal - out (fractured left wrist), Martell Webster - out (back surgery)

You Can Quote Me On That

"It's going to be tough. Washington is an improved team. To play them on a back-to-back is definitely going to be a challenge for us, but I think we're up for it." -Chris Copeland

"(Washington is a) great team. (We've) just got to go in there and most importantly, we've just got to take care of the ball." -Rodney Stuckey

"It's going to be a tough cover, but if we stick to our principles and get to our principles, we'll be fine." -Donald Sloan on defending Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall

Last Meeting

May 15, 2014: The Pacers used a 20-6 run over the final 8:30 to seal a 93-80 Game 6 win over the Wizards and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight year. All five Pacers starters scored in double figures, led by 29 points from David West.

Indiana limited Washington to 39 percent shooting on the night. The Wizards were just 2-for-18 from 3-point range. Marcin Gortat led four Wizards in double figures with 19 points.

 

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers won 11 of the last 13 regular season meetings with the Wizards and lead the overall series, 90-70. However, the Blue-and-Gold are 29-48 all-time in games played at Washington.
  • The Wizards signed forward Rasual Butler over the offseason. Butler, 35, spent the 2013-14 season with the Pacers.

Broadcast Information

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
ESPN - Mike Breen (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst)
Radio: 107.5/1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)