Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
The Wizards fell just short in Indiana the first time these two played this year. Now, they look to return the favor as they meet in Washington.
Where, When and What Channel: The game will start at 7 PM EST at the Verizon Center. The game will be available on Comcast SportsNet.
Why you should care: With a loss tonight, the Wizards would set a record for the worst start in franchise history, besting the 0-8 mark they set last season. However, like last year, the Wizards have a chance to avoid 0-9 at home against a soft opponent. Not much has changed since we previewed Indiana a little over a week ago: With Danny Granger on the shelf and Roy Hibbert in a nasty slump, the Pacers are a team that will have issues scoring points.
What they do well: Indiana comes into tonight's meeting with the top rated defense in the NBA, only allowing 98.2 points per 100 possessions. The Pacers just don't have many defensive liabilities at this point, and the ones that are would be middle of the pack on other rosters. Frank Vogel has done an outstanding job of keeping the Pacers focused on the defensive end, because right now, it's the only way they can stay within reach of the playoffs.
What they do poorly: Like we said earlier, the Pacers have struggled mightily without Granger. The only reason the Pacers don't have the worst offense in the NBA is because the Wizards have a firm grasp on that spot.
How the Wizards match up with them: The Wizards and Pacers are very similar teams at the moment. They're both going to have issues scoring, but they can both keep games somewhat competitive by slowing down the pace and limiting the other team's offensive opportunities. The Wizards only lost by four when these two played in Indiana on November 10th. Hopefully the boost they get from playing at home along with the added motivation of avoiding the worst start in franchise history will be enough to get the Wizards over the hump tonight. It may not be the prettiest game you'll ever see, but the Wizards might have enough to slog out a win tonight.
What else should I know about the Pacers: Gerald Green is a noted dunking enthusiast.