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Wizards at Pacers Pregame: An Indy Inferno?

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Washington at Indiana

January 15, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 99.1FM


Last time they met was..

November 24, 2015 – Verizon Center, Washington: Pacers 123, Wizards 106
READ: Game Notebook 11, Wizards vs. Pacers: An Indy Bonfire On The Hardwood


What to watch

MORE FIYAH!

You think that basketball version of City on Fire acted out by Paul George and CJ Miles back in November was just a one-night arson? Well, it most certainly wasn’t. In case you forgot, on that November night in DC, George and Miles started a chain reaction of massive explosions, combining to score 72 points on 15 of 17 shooting from long range. While George and Miles haven’t been that destructive every night, they have been chucking up shots from behind the arc all season long, taking just around seven 3-point shots per game and making a combined 38.5 percent of them. George hasn’t attempted less than six 3’s in a game since December 12 and has attempted a double-digit number of 3’s in 9 different games this season.

Miles has produced similar numbers this season, but his percentage of makes from downtown has significantly dropped in the month of January, at just 27 percent. On Wednesday night against the Celtics, Miles missed all 9 of his 3-point attempts. Fortunately for Miles, tonight’s matchup against the Wizards could be godly timing, as the Wizards rank second to last in the league in opponents 3-point percentage at 38.1 percent. Will the Wizards once again fuel the Indy arson, or will they be the extinguishers this time?


Key Matchup

The Wizards vs. the 3-point line.

While the Wizards a terrible 3-point defending team, the Pacers are totally not, holding their opponents to 32.1 percent shooting from downtown this season, good for 5th in the league. But do you know what else ranks 5th in the league? The Wizards 3-point shooting, at 36.8 percent.

We know the fire hazard of George and Miles from long range and we know the potential increased danger if the Wizards aren’t able to defend them. So to minimize the propensity of another Pacers blowout, the Wizards may need to focus on simply matching what they fire up. John Wall’s arsenal isn’t the best, but his ability to suck in defenders and free up open shooters has helped overcome some of that inferiority because, you know, hitting open shots can be easy for a professional basketball player. Garrett Temple, Gary Neal, and even Ramon Sessions have all served as adequate, well-seasoned firewood and Wall has been their Zippo lighter fluid. If Wall can manipulate the Pacer defense and pry them away from the perimeter, the Wizards have a chance of simmering the blaze.


X-factor

Another solid road performance for the Wizards.

The Pacers are a really good team when playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They’ve won 13 of 18 games there with an offensive rating of 103.8 and a defensive rating of 96.9, both substantially better than their road numbers.

The Wizards on the other hand happen to be a better team when playing away from the Verizon Center. They’re 9-8 away from home, and have one 3 of the last 4. Stepping up to the spotlight has been a trait of most Randy Wittman-led Wizards teams in recent years, especially in the 4th quarter. They’ll need to own that late spotlight tonight if things start unravel early.


Fun factor

Wizards emojis!

How about #WittmanFace emojis?



Prediction

The Wizards get some justice for the arson committed in their home by Paul George and CJ Miles, and retaliate by committing an Inferno in Indy.

we are Hoop District

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