Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards - 5/5/14
Washington Wizards (44-38) at Indiana Pacers (56-26)
NBA Basketball: Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Line: Indiana Pacers -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers face off for Game 1 tonight.
The Indiana Pacers have looked like a very different team to the one that started the season 16-1, but despite their recent struggles, they were still able to get past the Hawks in the first round... by the skin of their teeth. Still battling a major identity crisis, the Pacers didn't really look like themselves until they found themselves down by 3-2 to the spirited Hawks thanks to their highly-touted defense which showed up just in time. Paul George didn't really dazzle in the series like we though he would, but still managed to finish with respectable averages of 23.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the series. However, while Lance Stephenson and David West looked average, everyone was looking like All-Stars compared to Roy Hibbert who scored a total of 24 points before his series-high 13 points in Game 7.
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Meanwhile, the Wizards have been solid all season and will be well-rested coming into this series after making light work of the shorthanded Bulls in just five games in the first round. For the most part, John Wall struggled against the Bulls and shot just 36.4 percent from the field while averaging 18.8 points, but he has been well supported by Bradley Beal who averaged 19.8 points in the series while shooting 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. Trevor Ariza contributed just about every game and even had himself a 30-point explosion in Game 4 and that's really the strength of the Wizards this season, they're actually pretty balanced on offense.
In ATS trends, the Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games and 8-1 ATS in their last nine games overall, while the Pacers are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a winning record and 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win of more than 10 points.
Head to head, the Wizards are just 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings in Indiana and the Home team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings overall.
Indiana won two of three meetings between these teams in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different animal and Washington has definitely looked like the better team so far. I know the Pacers looked to have returned to form lately, but I can't go past the well-rested Wizards with the points here.