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5 Reasons Why Indiana Pacers Will Handle the Washington Wizards

5 Reasons Why Indiana Pacers Will Handle the Washington Wizards

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The Indiana Pacers escaped the grasp of the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks doing what they do best in playing tight defense holding Hotlanta to 80 points on 30.4% from the field in game seven. The Wizards will be given all they can handle from a team with their sights on playing the Miami Heat for a finals appearance.

5. Second Chance At Life

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5. Second Chance At Life

Indiana Pacers
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Down 3-2 against the worst team in the NBA Playoffs, the Pacers avoided making history by losing a series to a 38-44 regular-season team in Atlanta. This new lease on life to achieve the ultimate goal of NBA immortality will work to Indiana’s favor because they came so close to losing a series they so obviously forgot to show up for. Vogel will not take the streaking Wizards for granted, considering Washington’s back court is far better.

4. Experience

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4. Experience

Indiana Pacers
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In the past four seasons, the Pacers core talent has played 23 playoff games, compared to only five games for the Wizards in that span. As we saw against the Bulls, the Wizards inexperience and tempered players like Nene Hilario let the situation overtake their better judgment. The Pacers are battle-tested, bringing the reigning champion Heat late in series the past two playoffs.

3. Skinny Wizards Bench

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3. Skinny Wizards Bench

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Trevor Booker was the only player to score (six points) in the Wizards Game-5 defeat over the Bulls, as three players came off the bench totaling 3-for-12 from the field. This type of rotation will not work well against the Pacers as they will wear them down the stretch.

2. Roy Hibbert Is Playing Better

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2. Roy Hibbert Is Playing Better

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A terrible series for the Pacers big man ended on a high note as Hibbert had 13 points (6-for-10 FGM-A), 12 rebounds and five blocks, totaling a plus-16 differential. This was a significant confidence boost for the 7-foot-2 center after going scoreless in Indiana’s Game-6 win. If the Pacers can get Hibbert to play as advertised, their offense will open up for the perimeter players with an actual presence in the paint.

1. Paul George

Atlanta Hawks
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1. Paul George

Atlanta Hawks
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With their backs against the wall, Indiana imposed the will of star small forward Paul George to the tune of 54 points in the Pacers Game 6 and 7 wins combined. George took huge strides in his fourth season in the NBA, averaging 21.7 ppg, .424 FG% and .864 from the charity stripe. Trevor Ariza’s job description just become far more noteworthy getting matched up against George, as he had an easy time covering Mike Dunleavy in the first round.