Washington (33-21) at Indiana (29-27)
When: Thursday, February 16th 2017
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic, FSN Indiana
The slumping Indiana Pacers will host one of the hottest teams in the league on Thursday night as they battle the Washington Wizards. Indiana is limping into the All-Star Break having lost five consecutive games after winning seven straight. Part of the problem is the cold shooting of star guard Paul George, who recorded on 13 points on 4-of-19 shooting in a loss to Cleveland on Wednesday including missing 12 straight at one point. George also struggled in a loss to Milwaukee on Saturday, scoring 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting. Despite the recent funk, George has scored 20 or more points in 12 of his last 16 games. George has averaged 30.7 points in the first three meetings with the Wizards this season, but the Pacers won only one of those contests. Point guard Jeff Teague registered 15 points and 11 assists on Wednesday for his 13th double-double of the season. Indiana will enter the All-Star Break as the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference.
The red-hot Wizards have climbed all the way up to the third seed in the East by winning 18 of their last 21 games and their only loss in the past 11 contests was a 140-135 overtime setback to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Point guard John Wall has been terrific all season for the Wizards with averages of 22.9 points and 10.6 assists and was named to his fourth consecutive All-Star game. Wall has recorded eight consecutive double-doubles and 34 on the season. Washington is coming off a 120-98 win over Oklahoma City in which Wall held superstar Russell Westbrook to 5-of-19 shooting. Shooting guard Bradley Beal has also had a hot hand, making six 3-pointers in two of his last four games and averaging 28.5 points during the stretch. All five starters including one reserve scored in double-digits against the Thunder and small forward Otto Porter collected 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.
It’s tough taking road favorites in basketball, but these teams are playing completely opposite right now. Beal and Wall are carrying this team towards a playoff run and I think they get it done tonight.
Pick: Wizards -2