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Wizards at Pacers Pregame: Feed The Panda!

Regular Season Game 27

Wizards (12-14) at Pacers (14-14)

December 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM
Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM


Last time they met was..

March 5, 2016 – Verizon Center, DC: Pacers 100, Wizards 99


What to watch:

A Psycho Panda

A look at Bradley Beal following his 41-point bombardment of the LA Clippers yesterday afternoon:

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Seriously, how amazing has it been to watch Beal finally showing out like the stone-cold gunner the Wizards drafted him to be five years ago? And it’s not just about him pouring in buckets, it’s his efficiency that’s gotten him surging so hard. Here are some facts:

  • In this frigid month of December Beal has kept things warm and snug, averaging 24.6 points per game and shooting a searing 46% from downtown on 7 attempts per game. He’s also shooting 49% from the field overall on 17 shots per game. Call him Bradley Buckets.
  • Beal totaled just four 30-point games in his first four seasons. He’s totaled five 30-point games (including a career-high 42 on Nov. 21 and 41 last night) in just the last 30 days.

With the Wizards having won 5 of their last 6 games, Scott Brooks seems to have found a formula for his team to succeed and, undoubtedly, Bradley Beal has been a leading component.


Key Matchup:

John Wall vs. Jeff Teague

Ahh one of my more favorite individual matchups, mainly because I can’t stand Jeff Teague and find myself absorbed in tremendous pleasure whenever John Wall is owning him. Condemned widely by the Wizards fan base (and Bradley Beal) as a dirty player, Teague has been on the fans’ shit list since the 2014 playoff series after he undercut John Wall on a layup attempt, leaving him with 5 fractures in his wrist and knocking him (and the Wizards) out of contention.

Teague, now a Pacer, is having a decent season, steadily averaging similar career numbers, and steadily still barely a fraction the point guard John Wall is.

Oh yeah, there will always be this:


X-Factor:

Inhibiting Paul George

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The Pacers have been awfully mediocre this season. They’re 14-14. They’re right around the middle of the pack in offensive and defensive efficiency. They’re an average-paced team. They’re just OKAY. However, they still employ Paul George who will unequivocally be the biggest threat against the Wizards tonight.

PG vs. Otto tonight will be fun, but PG vs. Oubre (who is may or may not play) will be a great test for the youngin’. With the rest of this Pacers team pretty much containable, how much of a groove George finds – or doesn’t find – could be the difference tonight.


Fun Factor:

A Snakey Reunion!

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Prediction:

The Panda onslaught continues as the Wizards outlast the Pacers in a gritty road game and inch closer to .500.

we are Hoop District

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