Game 1: Washington 104 – Atlanta 98
Tonight is Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards. This should be an interesting series as Washington will try to grab another win in Atlanta before the series goes to the nations capital. Let’s go over what happened in Game 1 for both sides then what to expect in Game 2.
What we saw in Game 1:
Going back to Atlanta’s last playoff series versus the Nets, they struggled with their shot and I expected one of the NBA’s best three point shooting teams to do better. That was not the case. Kyler Korver, who was 2nd in the league with 3pt %, struggled only shooting 3-11 behind the arc. It wasn’t just Korver who shot terrible. Jeff Teague shot 4-14, Paul Millsap shot 6-17, and Al Horford shot 7-19. DeMarre Carroll was the only one that actually shot the ball well shooting 8-13 with a team high 24 points.
For Washington, we saw a team that was not intimidated. After brutally beating Toronto in a four game sweep, the well rested Wizards came into Atlanta and beat them physically. Veteran Paul Pierce, who really stepped up in the last series, scored 19 and continued to have his veteran presence which is something Washington has been missing for a long time. John Wall also had a good game but not before hurting his wrist. He did not missed any action and it looks like he’ll be good to go.
Now let’s go over what to expect from each side.
What we can expect from Atlanta:
As stated earlier, the Hawks shot poorly in Game 1 shooting only a horrid 37-98 (37%). Players like Korver and Teague need to step and find confidence in their shot. One player I would keep on eye on is DeMarre Carroll. Carroll in these last 5 playoff games has scored at least 20 points. He’ll be a key factor for this Hawks team going forward.
What to expect from Washington:
The John Wall injury should not be a huge concern for the team. Paul Pierce needs to continue to be a veteran presence and act as a leader on the court. The backcourt combo of John Wall and Bradley Beal will cause the Hawks headaches whether it’s shooting the ball or driving the lane.
This should be a great game tonight. Both teams are balanced on both sides of the court. I think tonight the Hawks will bring the W to tie the series 1 a piece.
Update: John Wall has been ruled out for Game 1 with swollen wrist. Ramon Sessions expected to start