When: Monday, December 19th at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Wizards Radio App
Wizards: Kelly Oubre (Questionable, Concussion), Ian Mahinmi (Out, Knee), Danuel House (Out, Wrist), Jason Smith (Questionable, Hamstring)
Pacers: Rodney Stuckey (Questionable, Hamstring), Monta Ellis (Questionable, Groin)
What to watch for
The rebounding battle
These are two of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA, as both of them rank in the bottom third of the league in rebound percentage. As much as the Wizards have struggled in this category, the Pacers have been significantly worse. The only team that is securing a lower percentage of available rebounds than Indiana is the lowly Dallas Mavericks.
The only player on the Pacers who averages more than seven boards per contest is Myles Turner, but he has just two double digit rebounding games since the end of October. This should be a game that the Wizards dominate on the glass.
Can the Wizards stop Paul George?
After an impressive 2015-16 season that saw him earn All-NBA honors, Paul George really struggled through the first month of the regular season. As of late, however, he has regained his All-Star form.
In his last eight games, George is averaging 24 points and seven rebounds on 46/42/91 shooting splits. He has been under 20 points only once during that stretch, and also put up 37 on the Blazers last week.
George is one of the more versatile scorers in the NBA. He is as athletic as anyone in the league going to the basket, and also boasts a deadly perimeter jumper. Whether it is Otto Porter or Kelly Oubre (if healthy), the Wizards need to find an answer for him defensively to pick up a win.
The John Wall-Jeff Teague Matchup
Saying there is any sort of rivalry between Wall and Teague is probably a stretch, but the two do have some history. They matched up against each other in the 2015 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals (that’s the series where the Wizards would have DEFINITELY won had Wall not gotten hurt), they are both former all-stars, and they went at it in Indianapolis during the NBA lockout in 2011:
Like I already said, this is not exactly a rivalry. There really isn’t enough bad blood there for it to be one, and Wall is just on a different level as far as NBA point guards go. But there is enough history between the two floor generals for it to at least be an intriguing matchup. Who wins this battle could go a long way towards determining who wins the game.
Most likely Wizard Killer: Glenn Robinson III
Robinson is not exactly putting up insane numbers this season, but the Pacers have been a lot better with him on the floor. Their two most effective lineups both feature him, and he has played really well as of late since he was moved into the starting lineup due to Monta Ellis’ injury. He had 12 points and 12 rebounds in their win against the Pistons on Saturday night, and will look to have similar success against the Wizards on Monday.