The Washington Wizards have defeated the Atlanta Hawks in six games, advancing to the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Tonight’s 115-99 victory sealed the deal for the Wizards, who were led by their dominant backcourt throughout the series.
Washington Wizards Defeat Atlanta Hawks in Six Games
Both teams exchanged back-to-back victories on their respective home courts to even up the series at 2-2 heading into Game 5. Washington won comfortably in Game 5 and carried that momentum into tonight, wrapping up the series on the road.
Wizards Dynamic Backcourt
John Wall and Bradley Beal carried this team in the first round, just as they did all season. Wall continued to strengthen his case as the NBA’s most under-appreciated superstar, including a playoff career high 42 points in Game 6. Maybe a deep run in the postseason could help Wall gain the elite status he deserves.
As for Beal, he racked up solid scoring performances despite subpar efficiency from the field and three point line. Beal was finally able to stay healthy and put together his best season as a pro, so it’s refreshing to see him contribute at a high level in the playoffs.
Both Dennis Schroder and Paul Millsap proved to be the best two players on the court for the Hawks. Despite their best efforts, Atlanta was simply overmatched at nearly every position; Washington is the more talented team.
The playoffs were a nice coming out party for rookie Taurean Prince, who was selected 12th overall out of Baylor in last year’s draft. He carried over his strong finish to the season by contributing as a productive role player for the Hawks. His development will be crucial for this team moving forwards considering the losses of DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver in recent years.
Prince’s emergence and Schroder’s strong play are positive takeaways from this series for Atlanta.
The Wizards will advance to play the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the second round. The Eastern Conference semi-final matchups are set, with the Cleveland Cavaliers matching up with the Toronto Raptors in the other series.
Boston struggled at first, dropping the first two games to Chicago before reeling off four consecutive victories. Did the first round series exploit their weaknesses or did it give them much needed momentum? With John Wall going against Isaiah Thomas, next round’s series should provide plenty of entertainment.
As for the Hawks, they head to the off-season with many questions. Do they start blowing up the whole team, or should they try to remain a middle-tier playoff team in the East?