The Washington Wizards did their best Atlanta Hawks impression on Monday, dicing up the Indiana Pacers in the paint and dropping fire from beyond the three-point line. That let Washington take home a win, 102-96. Bradley Beal was impressive, scoring 25 points while nabbing seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals. The Wizards controlled the boards, 56-36, as they trounced the flailing Pacers.
John Wall was particularly effective, dashing into the paint and causing havoc for Indiana. Nene and Marcin Gortat did a great job drawing Roy Hibbert, Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola away from the basket. That allowed the Washington guards to penetrate and cause issues for the Indiana defense.
Indiana looked like they hadn't learned much from the first round against the Hawks. With Hibbert failing to grab a rebound or score a point, the issues defending the paint continued for the Pacers in Game 1. Paul George, who looked to find his groove offensively toward the end of the last series, shot just 4-of-17 from the field against the Wizards on Monday.
The Pacers will have to find a way to stop Washington from the arc if they want to have a chance in Game 2. Letting one of the top five shooting teams in the NBA go to down from deep isn't a way to win. Without Hibbert performing in the postseason, it is likely that Gortat and Nene will continue to dominate the glass.
Game time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Chris Webber, Tracy Wolfson