How the Indiana Pacers lost to the Washington Wizards

John Wall
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Indiana Pacers are a team that’s poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. They’re one of the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference currently sitting in third behind the New York Knicks.

The Washington Wizards are on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. They’re sitting in 10th place behind the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers. They’re eliminated from playoff contention and are really playing just to see what’s on the roster for next season.

With Bradley Beal out for the rest of the year, the Pacers should’ve had no problem taking care of these Washington Wizards. However, they’d get ripped to shreds by those same Washington Wizards.

With John Wall, the Wizards are obviously better, but the Indiana Pacers should’ve still had no problem taking care of this team. What was the problem? Well, John Wall went off for 37 points on only 25 shots. He left a lot on the floor shooting 5-10 from the free thrown line as well.

Another problem was that the Pacers normally rigid transition defense was breaking down all night long. Yes, these two problems are very closely related. John Wall sparked the Wizards transition scoring and was basically unstoppable when he was in the open court. Wall had 11 of his 25 shots come from transition opportunity.

All night the Pacers struggled to stop the ball when it got in John Wall’s hands. He was getting uncontested layups at the rim and also converting and-1 opportunities. The Pacers showed a lack of fundamentals when playing the ball in transition and weren’t fouling hard at all. Plays like these were happening all night long.

John Wall shoots 55% in the restricted area so you know that you can’t foul him softly. Its very hard to catch him in transition, but when you get a hand on him you have to make sure that its an effective hand. You’ve got to stop the ball and find your man in transition. The Pacers did neither of those things tonight. That’s why they lost to the Wizards.

The Wizards shot 61% in transition making 11 out of 18 attempts from the field. Of the 11 transition attempts that John Wall had he made eight of them. Out of the eight makes, four of them resulted in an and-one attempt. The Indiana Pacers clearly could not contain John Wall in transition and it seems that they’re limping into the playoffs. They don’t have too much time before the postseason starts to correct their mistakes. They could be out sooner rather than later if they don’t.

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