The Washington Wizards are undefeated at home in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and have won three straight to move on to the second round against the Indiana Indiana Pacers.
With a chance to get back to their best form, Washington is taking on the defending champion Indiana Pacers and could be heading into the second night of a back-to-back set with a win.
Despite not having a true offensive threat on the floor, the Wizards have played well defensively, especially at the beginning of the season.
Washington was one of only two teams that held opponents to fewer than 100 points in the regular season.
They allowed the most points in two-point field goal percentage (48.9) and shot an average of 50.3 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from three.
Wizards head coach Randy Wittman believes that having a big man on the perimeter is key for the team to be successful.
“I think it’s important to have somebody who can step up and shoot threes,” Wittman said on a conference call.
“If you don’t have somebody on the block, it’s hard to score and make plays.
You have to have some type of perimeter threat on offense, otherwise, you don�t have any kind of scoring.
That�s where we�re going.”
Indiana has not won back-and-forth games since the All-Star break.
This season, Indiana is shooting 46.6 percent on threes and 39.7 in the paint.
Washington has allowed opponents to shoot 50.1 percent on the year and 43 percent from beyond the arc.
It is unclear if the Wizards will be able to keep up the pace in the series.
They will likely have to score a lot of points in overtime, and Wittman feels that this is the best opportunity to do that.
“[The Pacers] play in the second half and they have to be able play a lot better defense,” Wittm said.
“They have a lot to do with how well they defend in the last two games.
If they play a better second half, they should be able [to beat the Wizards].
They have a chance.
“You want to go down and win, but if you have that opportunity, then you can’t just say, `Hey, we are just going to beat them one-on-one.’
It has to be a two-on