The Indiana Pacers have been on quite the roller coaster of a postseason and tonight they begin the difficult task of trying to regain the home-court advantage in Washington D.C. Having been in this exact position a little more than a week ago, they will look to find similar results to the ones they found in round one. The Pacers have strived from the beginning to win an NBA championship and although many don’t think that’s still a possibility this season, a strong performance in the next few games can play a big role in advancing.
The Washington Wizards have improved tremendously this season and are one of the rising young teams in the league; that being said, they have yet to go through the growing pains of the playoffs. The Pacers have made the playoffs four straight years, going one round further in each of the last three seasons and are hoping this trend will continue taking them to the NBA Finals. The Wizards have not been in the playoffs since the 2006-2007 season and none of the players from that year are still on the team. This team is extremely young and it is hard to find such success without first gaining the experience.
The Pacers are not the same team that started 9-0 back in November — that is something all of us can say with great certainty. However, the team’s core has been together for the better part of four years now and they know what postseason basketball is all about. They have paid their dues and are now poised to make yet another deep playoff run. Because of this experience and the improved play of center Roy Hibbert they will come up big not only tonight in Washington but again on Sunday to take a 3-1 advantage heading back to Indianapolis. Sure, that is a bold statement for what we have seen of late, but I trust experience over youth every day of the week and if the Pacers do not leave Washington with at least one win I would be utterly shocked.