The Pacers showed off their #1 D in the NBA tonight, holding the Wizards to just 73 points and only 40% shooting from the field, as the Pacers got the 93-73 victory. The Pacers defense suffocated the Wizards all night, as it was the Wizards lowest scoring night of the year and the fifth time this year the Pacers have held an opponent under 80 points. Indianapolis does such a great job of not allowing transition buckets or anything easy in the paint and tonight was no different, with the Wizards scoring just 30 points in the paint and got zero points in transition. The Pacers have only lost once on the year and have yet to lose in their barn. They were led by Paul George who was his usual impressive self, scoring 23 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Lance Stephenson just missed a triple-double with seven points, 10 assists, and 11 boards. The Wizards got a nice performance from Marcin Gortat who posted his seventh double-double of the year, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Trevor Ariza added 14 points in the loss. - Jacob Raim
Welcome to #WizPacers!
Writing courtside for this one as the team warms up here at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tonight will be a real challenge as the Wizards get the top-seeded Indiana Pacers, who have yet to lose here at BLF. In fact, they've only lost one game all year.
Why are they so good? Defense!
The Pacers defensive numbers are off the charts. They lead the league in almost every defensive category and have a team philosophy that preaches defense, thanks to their head coach Frank Vogel.
They also have one of the NBA's most dynamic players in Paul George. He has emerged as a real star in this league, who does everything. He can shoot it from long range, he can get to the hole, he can defend, he'll rebound, there isn't anything he can't do well.
Tonight, we'll likely see a whole lot of Trevor Ariza on George. He's not only the Wizards best defender, but also matches up well with George and has a very similar body frame. That will be a key matchup to watch.
Unfortunately, the Wizards will be without some of their key guys tonight. Bradley Beal (fibula), Al Harrington (knee), and Otto Porter (hip) remain out with their injuries, but just added to the injury report was Nene, who will also miss tonight's game with a sore right Achilles. This is something he has dealt with and missed a few games with earlier this season, so it's probably nothing more than needing a few days of rest. His status for tomorrow night's #WizHawks game has not been decided.
Without Nene, the Wizards will start Jan Vesely, who has done a nice job playing an energy role off the bench the last two weeks. He'll now get a chance to run more with the first unit, and perhaps we could see some #John2Jan alley-oops!
With Nene out, look for either Trevor Booker and/or Kevin Seraphin to play a larger role tonight, as they'll be the two big men the Wizards go to off the bench. Both have yet to really find their groove this season, but maybe tonight will be the start of something.
Marcin Gortat talked about playing a team that is so good on the defensive end at this morning's shootaround:
Gortat also spoke about the team's Thanksgiving dinner at Al Harrington's house yesterday.
The entire team took a bus out to Harrington's house (where his mom now lives outside of Indianapolis) and feasted on a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
Hopefully they are still hungry for a win tonight in Indianapolis.
Randy Wittman got to spend his Thanksgiving with his family last night in Indiana. He spoke about that during pregame availability:
Live Chat gets going at 8pm tonight, we'll see you there.