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Open Game Thread: Pacers vs. Wizards

Well, this is it. Here's Bruno's preview for the last game of the season. It has been ten years since the last game was known before the final buzzer. Not fun.

Bruno shines a light on probably the only bright spot over the past couple of months and that's been the development of Shawne Williams. He's shown plenty of flashes that a bright future in the NBA is his for the taking. Cracking Carlisle's rotation isn't easy but he took advantage of opportunities when they popped up.

"He's a dribble-pass-shoot guy at 6-9, with a 7-foot wingspan. Guys like him don't grow on trees," said Coach Rick Carlisle. "He's a unique player. We weren't sure what his disposition and poise would be like as a first-year player but he's been very mature with his opportunities, he's been very workmanlike and professional in the way he's approached it. And he's put in a lot of hard work, which has helped him get better."

I see Shawne as a next generation Eddie Johnson. He's going to find ways to score and can shoot it from all over. Plus, with his size he should be able to add value around the glass and on defense. Only hard work stands between Williams (he needs a nickname) and a great career. Sounds like he knows it too.

"Everybody's kind of down because we didn't make the playoffs and everybody was looking forward to making the playoffs, especially me," Williams said. "This is my first year and I wanted to experience the playoffs. But it couldn't happen that way. I feel everything happens for a reason and it's like J.O. tells me every day, 'just keep your head up, there's another year coming.' So the best thing and the most important thing for me and the other young fellas is to get ready for next year.

"I feel like I got a lot out of this year because I remember the questions y'all used to ask me in the beginning about the D-League. I just had to keep a level head and say, 'whatever coach wants.' It just shows, me coming from college, there was room to get better and I got better. And hey, I made it in the rotation a little bit."