Washington Wizards (31-36 38-28-1 ATS) at Indiana Pacers (31-35 27-39 ATS)
In a big Eastern Conference matchup Saturday the Pacers host the Wizards in what may be the first play in game for the playoffs. This game can be seen on NBA TV.
(This preview is posted for this Saturday game before the trends and odds are out and check back, as they will be posted soon.)
The Wizards are in the 10th spot in the East only a half a game back of the Pacers. They only have five games remaining and after a bad start the team has been playing well in the last month including an eight-game winning streak. Washington has won two of their last three games and the first win in that span was against the Pacers where the team blew up for 154 points.
Washington ranks dead last in the league giving up an average of 120.2 ppg but they are also the fourth highest scoring team in the league.
The Pacers had lost two in a row before a W in their last game. They are like the Wizards in that they have a solid offense but their defense has been the main issue.
The Wizards have won both games against the Pacers this season with each of them at home.
Beal Comes Up Big In the Clutch
The Wizards were on the road in their last game beating the Toronto Raptors 131-129 in OT where Bradley beat came up big scoring 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and in overtime. Raul Neto (25 points) and Robin Lopez (24 points) each went for season highs in the win and while Russell Westbrook notched his 34th triple-double of the season he only scored 13 points on 5/19 shooting.
The Wizards are led by the backcourt duo of Westbrook (21.8 ppg 11.4 rpg 11.4 assists per game) and Beal (31.1 ppg). Westbrook leads the league in assists and Beal ranks second in the league in scoring.
Westbrook had shot at least 60% from the floor in two games before his poor shooting in his last game. He only had 14 points in the recent win over the Pacers but had 21 rebounds and 24 assists.
Beal has been solid as of late and scored 42 points in the game before the last one.
On the season Washington is 14-19 on the road.
Great Offense Helps Overcome Poor Defense
The Pacers were at home in their last game beating the Atlanta Hawks 133-126 and while they allowed them to shoot 51.1% from the floor they shot a scorching 62.1%.
In the win over the Hawks Caris Levert led the Pacers with 31points on 12/20 shooting and Domantas Sabonis had 30 points and nine rebounds and was 12/14 from the field. Every Indiana player scored in double figures in the win.
Three players for the Pacers are averaging at least 20 ppg in Malcolm Brogdon (21.2 ppg), Sabonis (20.3 ppg), and Levert (20.2 ppg). Brogdon has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury and is questionable for this game.
Both Levert and Sabonis have gone for at least 30 points in two of their last three games.
Indiana has given up at least 133 points in both of their losses to the Wizards this season.
On the season the Pacers are only 12-20 at home.
The Wizards have beaten the Pacers twice this season and only a couple of games back. While both of those wins were at home they now face a Pacers team that is eight games under .500 at home and may miss their leading scorer for a fifth straight game. I look for another high scoring barnburner in this one and it will be a close game, which is why you should take the Wizards to, at least, cover the spread.