Pacers prepare for Wizards in round two - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Pacers prepare for Wizards in round two

After just scrapping by the Hawks in the first round, the Pacers are hoping to improve their play in the conference semi-finals against the Wizards.

Indiana does not have much time to prepare for Washington though, because game one of the series comes just two days after they finished up things with Atlanta. The Pacers had just one practice Sunday before the Wizards come to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Monday night.

"Game one is the most important game of the series," said David West, the Pacers starting PF. "We got to come out with our antennas up. Our awareness has to be there. Obviously [the Wizards] will be a little fresher because they've had a few days more off than we have (Washington eliminated the Bulls in just 5 games). Again we have to put together solid stretches of basketball."

Paul George, who's leading the Pacers in scoring, rebounding, and steals in the playoffs, says he feels confident in his team after Indiana put together two solid wins to beat the Hawks in seven games and close the series. George believes grinding out that series will help the team prepare for the Wizards.

 "We need to start playing well, start getting our feet wet, and start gaining confidence, gain a rhythm," said George. "It was good that we were able to play a long series and then jump into another series."

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is relieved that his team can now play a team that plays traditional big men who play near the basket, like Nene and Marcin Gortat, as opposed to the Hawks who played mostly around the perimeter.

Vogel added though, Washington also has capable shooters on the wings that the Pacers need to be aware of at all times, and they must limit the Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall from getting into open space.

 "They're a great transition team, getting out in the open court, so we've got to limit our turnovers," said Vogel. "If we don't and they're able to get out on the break, it's going to be a long series for us."

The Pacers and Wizards met three times during the regular season and Indiana won two of those meetings. The third game however, the Pacers lost in Washington 91-78, after Indiana shot just under 35 percent from the floor.
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