The Washington Post

Should Wizards fans be rooting for the Hawks to finish off the Pacers?

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This would’ve been a stupid question in January, before the once-mighty Pacers signed Andrew Bynum, traded Danny Granger for Evan Turner and eroded into a mess of their former selves.

It may still be a stupid question now, with the eighth-seeded Hawks one game away from putting Indiana out of its misery and giving Washington home-court advantage in the second round. We’re asking it anyway, because it’s not often (once every 32 years, to be exact) that D.C. fans get to sit around after a series win and think about who they’d rather see the Wizards play next.

So: Would you rather Washington face the Pacers or the Hawks in the second round?

Indiana Pacers

The Pacers went 16-14 after the all-star break and have yet to return to the form that made them the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed against the Hawks. (Answering questions about a reported fistfight between teammates Lance Stephenson and Turner is apparently no way to start a playoff series.) Indiana ranked second to Chicago in opponent points per game during the regular season, but the Hawks haven’t had trouble putting up points. It helps that Indiana’s offense has been worse than Chicago’s over the past month.

Regular season series vs. Wizards:
Nov. 29: Pacers 93, Wizards 73
Jan. 10: Pacers 93, Wizards 66
March 28: Wizards 91, Pacers 78

Good to see you again: Roy Hibbert. The former Georgetown star, who averaged 10.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game during the regular season, has been awful against Atlanta.

Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta, which made the playoffs with a 38-44 record, is a middle-of-the-pack team offensively and defensively. The Hawks are one of the poorest rebounding teams in the league and they live and die by the three-pointer. Atlanta has averaged a league-high 30 three-point attempts per game during the postseason, making 39 percent of them.

Regular season series vs. Wizards:
Nov. 30: Wizards 108, Hawks 101
Dec. 13: Hawks 101, Wizards 99 (OT)
Feb. 19: Wizards 114, Hawks 97
March 29: Wizards 101, Hawks 97

Good to see you again: Shelvin Mack. The former Wizards second round draft pick scored 20 points off the bench in Monday’s 107-97 win over Indiana. Mack’s performance was overshadowed by former U-Va. standout Mike Scott, who made five three-pointers and scored all 17 of his points in the second quarter.

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



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