Washington Wizards (39-30) vs Indiana Pacers (40-29)
When: Saturday , March 17, at 7 p.m.
Where: Capital One Arena , Washington D.C. TV: NBCSW / Radio: 1500 AM
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee)
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis (Out, Ankle), Myles Turner ( Out, Ankle)
The Wizards face the Indiana Pacers for the third and final time this season. The season series is currently tied 1-1.
The Wizards can win their 40th game of the season tonight, which would mark their fifth-consecutive season with at least 40 wins, the second-longest streak in team history (seven straight from 1972-73 to 1978-79). With the Bulls and Grizzlies incapable of reaching 40 wins this season, the Wizards are one of eight teams with the ability to extend their streak this season.
Consecutive Seasons with at least 40 wins, Entering 17-18- Per Elias
San Antonio 18
Chicago 9 (Unable to reach 40 wins this season)
Okla. City 8
Memphis 8 (Unable to reach 40 wins this season)
LA Clippers 6
Golden State 5
107.5 - points per game
106.2 - points against
46.8 - Field goal %
105.8 - points per game
104.3 - points against
42.3 - field goal %
Keep an eye on:
VICTOR OLADIPO: First time all star has truly become one of the top shooting guards in the league and one of the few players who consistently disrupts teams on both sides of the ball. Oladipo is averaging 23.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.2 assist and 2.2 steals (first in the NBA) a game on 47 percent shooting from the field, 36 percent shooting from deep and 80 percent shooting from the line. He's getting it done. In the last meeting between these two teams, Oladipo was unstoppable, scoring a game high 33 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and all over the place defensively to lead Indiana to a 98-95 win. Washington must find a way to disrupt Oladipo who is the heart and soul for the Pacers. Keeping him from getting easy baskets in transition is a huge start as Oladipo scored 10 of his 33 points going coast to coast.
Lock up Bo Buckets: Bojan Bogdanovic was the x-factor in the Pacers win when these two teams last met. Entering the game averaging 14 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assist on 46 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from three point territory for the season, Bogdanovic exploded against his former team for 20 points and 4 rebounds on 7-12 shooting from the field and 3-5 shooting from deep. Whenever Washington made a run, he stopped it with a timely jumper. Porter Jr, Oubre Jr and at times Mike Scott and Markieff Morris will have to crowd him all night long, or else it will be a repeat performance of last game .
Sound Passing: Washington can at times be sloppy with the ball when passing. That can't happen against the Pacers, not even a little bit. Indiana thrives off forcing turnovers due to their athleticism, length and versatility at each position. Indiana is second in the league in steals at 8.7 a game and third in the NBA at forcing turnovers at 15.4. This means they defend one on one, rotate and anticipate on defense almost better than any team in the league. The Pacers held an exhausted Brad Beal to 22 points on 8-27 shooting in the last match-up. Quick decisions and sharp execution is a must if Washington is to get this important win.