Wizards vs Pacers Game 3 Pick

Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards

Game 3

Friday 8:05 EST

May 9, 2014

Line: Washington -4 (Subject to change. Check up-to-date odds at Bovada)

John Wall and the Washington Wizards still have a lot of learning to do.

Leading by three points with 5 minutes to go, the opportunity to head home with a 2-0 series lead was in their reach. However, questionable shot selection in the final minutes reminded us all that Wall is still a playoff rookie.

Trying to create shots that weren’t there, while turning the ball over, the 23-year-old point guard of the most surprising team in these NBA playoffs looked like the inexperienced phenom we believed he was before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. There’s no question that if the Wizards end up losing this series, the closing minutes of Game 2 will certainly be the turning point. This was a very winnable game for Washington – one which they certainly let slip away.

Heading into Game 3, a return home will be a welcoming sight for these youngsters. Coming off their first road loss in more than a month, now is not the time to panic. They still head home after splitting the first two games against the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Whether that would qualify as a mission accomplished is yet to be seen, but the Wizards have to feel good about the situation they’re in. They still have home-court advantage, and despite playing poorly in Game 2, they still had a great chance to win.

It’s important for a young team such as Washington to learn from their mistakes. Although there’s no solace in losing and lessons will be learned, the Wizards still had some room for error. The same cannot be said for the Indiana Pacers, who once again, were in a must-win situation. As they’ve done all postseason, the Pacers responded with a victory and are now 4-0 following a loss in the postseason.

But this game wasn’t about Roy Hibbert’s best game of the season, scoring 28 points with nine rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting. Or how the Pacers manage to play their best with their backs against the wall. This game was more about Washington’s inexperience down the stretch than Indiana’s ability to pull out the victory.

While Hibbert isn’t going to score 28 points again, Trevor Ariza is going to continue to shut down Paul George, who has managed just 28 points in two games this series. As for Wall and Bradley Beal, don’t expect them to falter in the most crucial moments. They learned from their mistakes once. They won’t allow the same mistakes to happen again.

I don’t believe the Pacers have figured out their problems just quite yet, or that they’ll bring the same intensity on the road with them to the Nation’s capital. I do believe, however, that the Wizards will win Game.

My Pick: Wizards -4

May 9, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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