Wizards-Pacers best and worst, Game 2


Marcin Gortat battles Indiana’s resurgent Roy Hibbert in Game 2. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Best and worst moments from the Wizards’ 86-82 loss to the Pacers in Indianapolis.

Worst Dagger off a Turnover: After a defensive stop, the Wizards had the ball trailing 82-79 with 50 seconds to play. John Wall drove left and had the ball stripped by George Hill. Lance Stephenson drilled a long jumper on Indiana’s ensuing possession to give the Pacers a five-point lead with 21.4 seconds to play.

Best Prediction: Georgetown coach John Thompson III flew to Indianapolis and had a pep talk with former pupil and Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who had zero points and zero rebounds in Game 1. “He hasn’t been playing well, but that’s been fixed,” Thompson told Comcast SportsNet before the game. “He’s going to come out and have a good game tonight.” With JTIII sitting courtside, Hibbert played out of his mind. Hibbert scored the Pacers’s first five points and finished with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds. Thompson also met with former Hoya, Otto Porter, but Porter didn’t play.

Best Fishing Trip: In addition to JTIII’s advice, Hibbert credited Paul George taking him out on his boat on Tuesday for his turnaround. “We sat there and we fished for a long time, we didn’t even talk about basketball,” Hibbert told TNT’s Tracy Wolfson after the game. “I think this one was really attributable to Paul’s love and care for me as a friend and teammate.”

Worst Shooting: The Wizards weren’t going to shoot 10-for-16 from three-point range every game, as they did in Game 1, but they cooled off considerably in Game 2. Ariza went 2-for-7 on three-pointers after making all six of his attempts on Monday. Bradley Beal made his second three-pointer on six attempts with 11 seconds to play. Wall missed all four of his attempts and Washington finished 5-of-21 as a team.

Best Shooting: The Pacers shot 18-of-21 from the free throw line, while the Wizards shot 5-of-12. Hibbert made all eight of his attempts and David West’s two makes with 10 seconds to play iced the game.

Worst Pace: The Wizards had zero fastbreak buckets, which isn’t good for a team that has stressed its desire to run against the slow-it-down Pacers. Maybe it’s a good sign the Wizards still had a chance to win.

Best Defense: While Hibbert went off, Ariza kept Pacers star George under wraps for a second consecutive game. George, who averages more than 21 points per game, had 11 points Wednesday.

Worst Sign: The score wasn’t exactly right, but the dry erase board in the Pacers’ media dining room foreshadowed Washington’s downfall in Game 2.

Worst Injury Scare: Nene headed to the locker room in the first quarter after stepping on Hill’s foot while getting back on defense. There was concern that Nene might have reinjured the left knee that forced him to miss 21 games late in the season, but it was only an ankle sprain and he returned to the game with 8 minutes to play in the second quarter. Nene finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds in 36 minutes.

Best Dunk: Marcin Gortat had one of the best dunks of the NBA playoffs off a feed from John Wall. The Polish Hammer posterized Indiana’s Ian Mahinmi. TNT’s Ian Eagle called it a “foreign facial.”

Best Tie: The Wizards’ streak of leading after the first quarter, as they had in all six games this postseason, was snapped, but it was a minor victory to be tied after one given that the Pacers resembled a competent offensive team for most of the quarter.

Best or Worst Watch Party: The Wizards invited fans to watch the game on the video board at the Verizon Center. It’s a shame the movie wasn’t better.

Best Arena Entertainment: Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s entertainment staff brought it with the baby race.

Best Videobomb: Wizards owner Ted Leonsis dropped in on the CSN pregame show.

(Via TNT)
(Via TNT)

Best Music: Well played.

Scott Allen writes about all things DC sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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