Pacers vs. Wizards final score: Different game, same story as Wizards lose, 96-89

Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Wizards fell to 0-9 with a 96-89 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards are 0-9 after losing, 96-89, to the Indiana Pacers. They made it interesting at the end, and ... hell, I've written this story too many other times this year to repeat it. Let's just get right to the notes.

  • The Wizards' first play ended up with an ad-lib post-up for Jan Vesely after the initial play break down. That's not bad. Nice turnaround hook by Vesely as well.
  • Trevor Ariza does some frustrating things off the ball defensively. On one play, he bodied Paul George the wrong way on a simple rub off the post player, giving him an easy layup from Roy Hibbert. On another, he foolishly doubled on a baseline drive by Hibbert, leaving Paul George wide open for the easy three in the corner.
  • Early on, the Wizards were overpassing like crazy. Ariza made a nice move to get to the rim, but instead of challenging Hibbert, he tried to dump it off to Emeka Okafor. Turnover. On another play, Jordan Crawford went off a nice screen by Vesely and got to the basket, but instead of trying to finish over Hibbert, he, too, dumped it off to Okafor. Okafor wasn't in a good scoring position and Hibbert swatted the shot away.
  • In the Wizards' semi-defense, Hibbert was a monster back there, altering tons of shots. That said, they have to be craftier trying to draw fouls. There are smarter ways to attack the basket.
  • For someone billed as an elite rebounder, it's amazing how poorly Emeka Okafor boxes out. Hibbert easily worked him underneath the hoop for an offensive rebound and putback.
  • I'm really not sure what's going on inside Kevin Seraphin's head right now, but I don't like it. He's making really bad mental mistakes that make me wonder if his supposed increased confidence is really there. On one play, he threw a simple swing pass at Bradley Beal's feet. On another, he made a strong move to the middle to set up his patented righty jump hook ... and instead threw a wild crosscourt pass to Beal in the opposite corner. Beal was caught off guard and flung up a wild fadeaway three-pointer with the shot clock running down. Just play, Kevin.
  • It is kind of nice to be able to go to the "Shaun Livingston turnaround jumper off the post-up" well when things really aren't working. I think that one turnaround helped wake the Wizards up a little bit.
  • I'm really starting to develop a distaste for all these pindowns and curls. They don't do much to provide separation for the guards to drive, and they put players like Bradley Beal and Martell Webster too far away from the hoop. This isn't a roster with a Rip Hamilton to run opponents ragged. I'm not sure what else Randy Wittman can run, but I wouldn't really like it if he's trying to jam this roster into that specific style.
  • OK, let's stop it with the Shaun Livingston post ISOs.
  • Seraphin at least looked better with his post touches in the late-first/early-second quarter.
  • Beal attacked, at least. He's got to finish better, though. He had the shots, just didn't make them. Feel like we've said that a lot, though.
  • Even though Trevor Booker made a pass to an open A.J. Price for three, he probably should have gone up strong off an offensive rebound. At least that way he might draw two free throws.
  • A play that epitomized a lot of problems at once: the Wizards get a steal, but instead of quickly pitching it ahead, Price doesn't give Booker a passing angle, and Booker holds the ball with one hand as all the Pacers get back. If the Wizards are going to be this bad in the halfcourt, they have to get easy buckets.
  • And wouldn't you know it, the same scenario played out again after Booker got a steal behind the Pacers' three-point line.
  • Crawford does seem to have a better understanding of how to use his big man screening for him. He executed a nice pick and roll with Seraphin, faking right, then crossing over left just as Seraphin slid in to dislodge Crawford from his primary defender. It led to two free throw attempts for Seraphin.
  • That was a pretty big play by Chris Singleton to steal the crosscourt pass and get a three-point play. Wittman should find room for him in the rotation, somehow.
  • Speaking of: Wittman played 12 guys in the first half. At some point, he's just going to have to pick eight guys to play, leave the ninth spot to whoever is playing best and bench the rest. Some of us will howl that certain guys deserve time, but Wittman has to tune it out and just decide. I know none of the players have really proven definitively that they belong, but we're now nine games in. A decision has to be made.
  • Given the lack of talent on this team, you can't miss this many free throws.
  • To their credit, the Wizards played really good defense in the second quarter. Sure, it's Indiana, but at least their aggressive rotations kept them in the game. That's big.
  • I am definitely impressed by the way Crawford is no longer settling for long threes. I think he only did it once in the first half. Otherwise, he made strong, straight-line drives to the basket to draw fouls, catching the Pacers off-balanced with his head fakes.
  • Seraphin seemed a lot more confident in the second quarter scoring with his righty hook. That's good. The bad: he committed a really dumb foul shoving Hibbert to the ground. He has to cut those out.
  • The three-guard lineup of Price, Crawford and Beal actually worked well because it opened up the floor for Seraphin to do his thing. I think Wittman can and should use it more often in certain situations when the Wizards are struggling to generate offense.
  • Boy, what a dumb foul by Earl Barron at the end of the first half.
  • Smart decision to get Trevor Ariza a quick post touch. Better to have Ariza closer to the basket than further away. Good things happened the first two times the Wizards went to that look.
  • Man, David West is too strong for Jan Vesely.
  • Four fouls for Kevin Seraphin is problematic. It's the kind of thing he just has to be smarter about.
  • When Ariza isn't in the mid-post area, he really isn't sure where he's supposed to go offensively. He ruined one open spot-up shot-fake-and-drive for Price by running right into his lane and bringing his defender to Price. He ruined another by failing to get all the way into the left corner where he should have been.
  • Okafor really needs to start driving his man back on box outs. He doesn't make any effort to turn into his defender and prevent him from getting the board. It bit him again when he turned and stood flat-footed on a free-throw rebound, allowing it to bounce right into David West's arms.
  • I blame Beal for throwing it behind Vesely on that fast break. I also blame Vesely for not running hard enough to provide more of a passing lane for Beal to get the ball to him.
  • It was nice to see Beal come alive late in the third quarter. He didn't settle for jumpers and he played much more aggressively on both ends. Great to see.
  • The team really fed off Beal's aggression. When they saw him drive and draw contact; when they saw him block a jump-shooter, it started to get them going. Beal has to understand that he can have that kind of effect when he's really dialed in on both ends of the floor.
  • I especially loved to see the way Beal fronted Paul George in the post on the Pacers' final possession. The Pacers tried feeding Tyler Hansbrough in the high post, and they were looking to set George up in the low post. However, Beal fronted George despite there being very little space, and Vesely nicely covered his backside to ruin the play.
  • David West is really tough, man. Whenever the Pacers needed a hoop early in the fourth quarter, West got it. They weren't easy shots either.
  • You can't double West from one pass away. The Wizards did so with Livingston and got burned with great ball rotation for a Gerald Green three.
  • Seriously, can we keep Aggressive Bradley Beal?
  • Missed opportunities ... missed opportunities ... missed opportunities.
  • Really bad illegal screen by Seraphin for his fifth foul. It's a bit of a soft foul, but he definitely moved into the defender to bump him off his path.
  • Great early look by Shaun Livingston to find Seraphin and eventually set up the sequence that led to Seraphin's putback dunk.
  • Gotta make your free throws, Chris Singleton. But I do like the concentration shown to nail those mid-range jumpers.
  • David West, man. David West. He's a killer.
  • Beal really didn't get enough touches late in the game. On the one missed post touch by Seraphin, it looked like they wanted to swing the ball to Beal and run offense that way. Instead, Livingston set up the post touch. That might have been a mistake.
  • A game of execution, personified: on one end, the Wizards ran a great play to get Seraphin a deep post touch down three, but Seraphin fumbled Beal's beautiful bounce pass entry. On the other end, George Hill circled around for a while, found West, who then found Hibbert for the easy hook shot.
  • David West, man.
  • Really poor execution on the final play. Beal never got open, Crawford caught the ball and held it, and all that they could get was a wild long two that had no chance.

Final - 11.19.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Indiana Pacers 28 22 21 25 96
Washington Wizards 13 28 26 22 89

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