Wizards Pacers Prediction and Preview: 2014 NBA Playoff Series Starts on Monday

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
May 3, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The Indiana Pacers escaped their first round series against the Atlanta Hawks and will face the Washington Wizards in the second round.

The Pacers needed seven games to take out the Hawks. The Wizards only needed five games to take out the Chicago Bulls.

At this point, the Wizards have more momentum and confidence going into the series. Although the Pacers have homecourt advantage and are coming off two straight wins, they still don’t look the team that they did earlier in the season. Roy Hibbert is among the players who aren’t playing near the level they were at one point.

The Wizards, meanwhile, appear to be hitting their peak at the right time. The young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal is well-paired with the veterans Trevor Ariza, Nene, and Marcin Gortat. They proved that they can close out close games against the hard-nosed Bulls.

It is worth pointing out that the Bulls were without star Derrick Rose. But the Hawks were also without Al Horford. The Wizards and Pacers are both pretty healthy.

The regular seasons series between the two teams went to the Pacers, who won two out of the three games.

However, the Wizards won the last game 91-78.

The matchups in the series will be interesting. David West and Hibbert appear to be outmatched by Nene and Gortat–but not by much. Wall is a better player than George Hill, while Bradley Beal and Lance Stephenson are about even.

Paul George may be the best player in the series, but Ariza’s defense is at a high level. 

The Pacers have been operating with a pretty short bench, with Ian Mahinmi, C.J. Watson, and Chris Copeland. Evan Turner hasn’t played much lately and didn’t play in game 7.

The Wizards bring veteran Andre Miller off the bench at point guard and Martell Webster at small forward. Trevor Booker and Drew Gooden spell Nene and Gortat.

Neither bench is particularly strong and the starters should continue playing big minutes in this series.

It should be a good series, going at least six games. Prediction: Wizards in six.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.