NBA Game Preview – Pacers Vs Wizards March 7

Dean Riley - 28 Feb 2022

With only 24 games remaining of the NBA season following the All-Star break, the Washington Wizards should be rearing and ready to go to complete the final stretch home.

One of their remaining games will be against the Indiana Pacers on March 7 at Capital One Arena. And given the outcome of their Feb. 17 skirmish against Indiana, a game they lost 113-108 as the Pacers finally snapped a 7-game losing streak, they’ll have an important score to settle on game day.

Following 58 games leading up to the break, the Wizards rank 22nd in pace, 21st in offensive rating, and 21st in defensive rating. While they’ve done a good job at reaching the free throw line and steering clear of turnovers, they’ve not been shooting nearly as well as what they would have wanted to.

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In Hindsight

The last time the two NBA franchises met, the Pacers beat an Eastern Conference opponent for the first time since December. 16.

Leading the Wizards had been Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 27 points. Hot on his heels finished Kyle Kuzma with 26 points, 15 rebounds, and six 3-pointers.

Indiana appeared to take significant control of the game when they scored six straight points late during the third quarter. Washington, however, soon cut into their 76-73 lead before closing the gap to 86-82 early in the fourth quarter.

But the moment wasn’t to last for the Wizards. Indiana answered with six straight points shortly after before Caldwell-Pope and Oshae Brissett closed out the game with seconds to go.

This is exactly the sort of breakthrough the Wizards will want to restrict on March 7.

Pacers May Have To Hold Back  

Even though the Pacers have just about the easiest schedule in the league following the All-Star break, this might have the undesired effect of threatening their draft position.

With top players like Chris Duarte, Isaiah Jackson, Myles Turner, and Malcolm Brogdon all pegged to return from injury time soon, ironically, the Pacers could be about to win a few more games than what would be ideal within the context of their pursuit of a top draft pick.

While winning obviously remains the number 1 desired outcome, in exceptional circumstances, it sometimes becomes necessary to lose the batter to win the war.

This is precisely the situation facing the Pacers right now. They’ll want to manage their mellower late season with caution and care if they’re to build a future roster with the help of a better draft pick.

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