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Terps, Hoyas, and Wizards

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The Teams: Indiana Pacers (4-7) vs. Washington Wizards (0-8)

The Time: 7:00 PM

The Place: Verizon Center

TV/Radio: CSN (TV) 106.7 The Fan (Radio)

Washington gets back after it Monday night to attempt once again to right the ship after Saturday’s eighth consecutive loss to start the season. Tonight, the Wizards go up against the Indiana Pacers and their 1-6 record on the road. The Pacers come into this game having lost three of their last four contests, two of which were double digit losses on the road.

This will be the second time these two team have met this season with the first tilt going to the Pacers with an 89-85 victory. In that game Paul George was unstoppable, going for 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists in 37 minutes of action. Unfortunately, as we all know, the Wizards blew a 2 point lead after three quarters. Washington could only muster 13 points in the final 12 minutes, being outscored by 6 in the last frame.

Why You Should Watch:

This should be another ultra competitive game. The Pacers come into tonight’s matchup with a lead than imperative road record and are still without, arguably, their best player in Danny Granger. Stars riding the pine in suits is something Washington can certainly relate to as John Wall and Nene still have yet to suit up for the Wizards on this young season. Washington could be catching Indiana at the right time and hopefully that translates into the opportunity for our first win.

Key Storylines and Questions:

1) Who Starts?

Randy Wittman played musical chairs with his rotation Saturday night as Jan Vesely and Jordan Crawford were inserted into the starting lineup. After the game Wittman stated how, ideally, there’d be “8-9 guys” who know that they’re going to play and are comfortable with their role on the team. As of right now, we don’t have anything close to that. The amount of different lineups Wittman has chose to close games with this early in the season is mind boggling. I expect a few more surprises this evening.

2) Who Steps Up To Shoulder Some Of The Scoring Load From Jordan Crawford?

Jordan Crawford has been exactly what most wizards fans have expected so far this season. He is a bit of a microwave on offense as he can get hot in an instant, but up until this point he hasn’t had much in the sense of a wingman on that end of the floor. Saturday night Crawford led the team in points (20) and assists (8) and Trevor Ariza pitched in 16 points of his own keeping Washington in the game after Al Jefferson went crazy in the third quarter.

With the way Bradley Beal was aggressive in attacking the rim against Utah I would hope he is given more of an opportunity to do what he does well tonight, score the basketball. Our first round pick needs to see the floor for more than 13 minutes and change for Washington to have a chance tonight. Should Beal get benched for an entire quarter at a time, see the third quarter against Utah, it could be another long evening for the Verizon Center faithful.

Prediction: Washington plays hard but is unable to put together a complete 48 minutes of basketball as Indiana doubles their road win total.

Indiana: 92    Washington: 85

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