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Wizards vs. Pacers preview: Washington hosts Indiana with fourth place in the East on the line

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Sunday, March 4 at 6 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
TV: NBC Sports Washington
Win probability: Washington has a 59 percent chance of winning according to Kevin Broom's Win Predictor and a 65 percent chance of winning according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee)

Pacers: Darren Collison (Out, Knee)

What to Watch for

How will the Wizards slow down Victor Oladipo?

This is only the second time the Wizards and Pacers have faced off this season, and Oladipo missed their first game with an illness, so this is Washington’s first opportunity to face the player who has given Indiana hope for the post-Paul George era. The Pacers are 35-21 when Oladipo has played, which would put them on a 51-win pace if he had played in every game this season.

However, they’ve been a little uneven since the All-Star break. They lost on the road to the Hawks and Mavericks before picking up a key road win on Friday over the Bucks. The win vaulted them into fifth place, a half-game behind Washington in the standings.

If Washington wins this game, they’ll move 1.5 games ahead of Indiana, and they’ll claim the head-to-head tiebreaker. If not, Indiana will move into fourth place, and it will set up a key game on St. Patrick’s Day in Washington to determine who wins the head-to-head tiebreaker which could be pivotal in sorting out the East standings.

A random moment in Wizards - Pacers history: Caron Butler’s flu game

The 2008-09 season was a rough one for the Wizards. Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood were injured before the season began, which crippled the team’s playoff hopes. It also brought an end to Caron Butler’s run of All-Star appearances as the team struggled to be competitive.

Danny Granger was one of the benefactors of the Wizards’ downturn. He was selected to the 2009 All-Star Game with the spot that very well could have gone to Butler if the Wizards had been a better team that season.

The Wizards faced the Pacers shortly after the selections were made and Butler used the platform to make his case for why he was still the better player. Butler outscored Granger 35-29, and scored the Wizards’ last 14 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer. Not bad for a guy who had missed the last two games with the flu and was still dealing with symptoms during the game.