Scott Brooks Says Wizards Will Bounce Back vs. Pacers After 'Bad Game' vs. Celtics

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks doesn't think Tuesday's 118-100 loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament will linger.

"We had a bad game," he told reporters when predicting the Wizards will quickly bounce back for their upcoming game against the Indiana Pacers. "It's no question. We haven't had one of these in a long time."

There are still reasons for optimism in Washington.

For one, the team went 17-6 in the final 23 games of the season and was playing some of the best basketball in the entire league. While it lost some of that momentum Tuesday, it proved capable of bouncing back from poor performances during that stretch run that helped clinch a spot in the play-in tournament.

Secondly, the Pacers don't have Jayson Tatum.

The Wizards had no answer for the two-time All-Star, who poured in 50 points during Tuesday's contest. It appeared as if Washington was going to win when it built a halftime lead, but Tatum took over with 23 points during the third quarter alone to seize momentum for his side.

Boston never looked back.

Stopping the Pacers will be a different challenge, as they don't have someone who can take over as quickly as Tatum did. Still, they had eight players score in double figures during their 144-117 win over the Charlotte Hornets and can run the offense through Domantas Sabonis in the frontcourt.

Washington swept Indiana during the regular season and will have home-court advantage in Thursday's matchup.

The winner will face the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the traditional eight-team Eastern Conference bracket.