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Wizards vs. Pacers Links: Gortat, Wizards confident heading into Game 1 at Fieldhouse

The Wizards are playing their best basketball of the season at the perfect time, so it makes sense they are confident about their chances despite their last two games at BLF.

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Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat has been in D.C. long enough to learn how to spin a miserable situation into positive like an elite political operative, as Brandon Parker reported.

"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.

Check out the links:


Notebook: Pacers Prepare for New Series | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

2014 NBA playoffs preview: Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards

Pacers-Wizards matchups: Do the Pacers have the edge? - Indy Star

Pacers must quickly readjust focus to Wizards - USA Today

NBA playoff scores, results and highlights from Sunday's action: Spurs break out, Nets hang on -

2014 NBA playoffs: Washington Wizards won’t change approach heading into matchup with Indiana Pacers - The Washington Post

Pacers, suddenly confident again, like their chances against the Wizards in Round 2 - The Washington Post

Bigger stage, brighter spotlight for Wall, Lillard - AP

Playoff matchups: Pacers vs. Wizards - 1070 The Fan

Motivated by his brother’s death, Trevor Ariza has persevered to success with Wizards - The Washington Post

Wizards get Pacers in Eastern Conference semifinals - Washington Post

2014 NBA playoffs: Can Roy Hibbert, Pacers handle Wizards? - NBA - Chris Johnson -

NBA Playoffs 2014: How Trevor Ariza and the Wizards can slow down Paul George in round 2 - Bullets Forever

Indiana Pacers Avoid Epic Elimination, If Only Temporarily | Bleacher Report NoDoz (Why the Pacers can't afford to sleep on John Wall & Co.)

Nets’ Paul Pierce makes series-saving block on Raptors’ Kyle Lowry to win Game 7 | The Point Forward -