"We're really confident," Wizards center Marcin Gortat said. "We had two actually pretty good games over there, even though we lost. We played hard for 48 minutes. We just couldn't make a shot."
What I recall from those two games was the Wizards getting beat by at least 20 both times and worse, rolling over after getting overwhelmed by what was at the time (late Nov. and early Jan.) a lethal defensive effort from the Pacers. In fact, several teams relented under the pressure earlier in the season, but Washington and Houston are two that you could see cry uncle in the second half.
Unfortunately for Indiana, the Washington team that played in those two games, a 93-73 Pacers win in late November and a 93-66 win in early January, don't resemble the current Wizards. Not to mention, the Pacers team on those nights hasn't been on the same level in quite some time, as well.
Neither is Roy Hibbert and Gortat has noticed his matchup may be more favorable this time around.
"I'm hoping (Hibbert's) going to play the way he's playing now," Gortat said. "I don't want this guy to come in and drop 20 and 15 on me. So if he drops zero and two, I'm cool with that."
Hibbert was about average in the first two meetings (12 pts, 6 rebs and 13 pts, 8 rebs) in the first two meetings at BLF. At this point, if he can contribute at least those numbers, the Pacers will be happy.
Hibbert also contributed his "selfish dudes" comment after the Pacers were drubbed by the Wizards in Washington towards the end of the season. In that game, Washington exhibited all of the matchup problems they can give the Pacers in the front court, back court and all spots inbetween.
The Pacers will have to play quite well and resemble the teams that pounded the Wiz early in the season to have a chance to win what should be a bear of a series, because this Wizards team doesn't resemble the one we last saw at the Fieldhouse. And they know it.
I touch on the tough matchups today on The Phil Naessens Show. Check it out.
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