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Wizards vs. Pacers preview: Washington gets first look at revitalized Indiana squad

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Denver Nuggets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Game Info

When: Monday, February 5 at 7 p.m.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 44 percent chance according to Kevin Broom’s Win Predictor and a 37 percent chance of winning according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee), Sheldon Mac (Out, Achilles)

Pacers: Glenn Robinson III (Out, Ankle)

What to Watch for

How will Washington handle the Pacers’ new roster?

Washington has played every team in the Eastern Conference at least once this season except Indiana. Unfortunately for Washington, a lot has changed since the last time these two met on February 16, 2017.

The big change happened over the summer, when the Pacers dealt Paul George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, who are both thriving in their new setting. Oladipo helped turn the Pacers into a top-ten offense this season and blossomed into an All-Star, while Sabonis has rapidly developed into a dependable big man off the bench for the Pacers. They’ve also gotten supplemental help from former Wizard Bojan Bogdanovic, as well as Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, and Lance Stephenson, who have all found roles where they can thrive in Indiana.

The good news for Washington is that while the Pacers have been a pleasant surprise on the offensive end, they’re still working to figure things out defensively. They’re currently in the bottom-third of the league in defensive efficiency.

It should be a fun game, regardless of the outcome, but the game certainly matters. Whichever team wins will join the Celtics and Raptors as the only teams in the East with 31 wins this season. There’s still plenty of time left in the season for things to change, but a win in this game would be a big morale booster as they get ready for the final third of the season.

A random moment in Wizards - Pacers history: Wall goes behind the back to Beal

This late-season matchup between the Wizards and Pacers was an ugly slugfest in which neither team cracked 100 points even though they played two overtimes. But in midst of an ugly game, there was this beautiful fast break that gave fans a glimpse of what they’d see once the playoffs started later that month.