Washington backup Jason Smith cleared to play vs. Hawks
Apr 30 2017 by Cristina Jennings
They've done a great job in this series. The Hawks missed a 3-pointer, Wall countered with a pull-up jumper, and just like that the Wizards were up 97-90. It's easy for us to sit back and criticize the lack of defensive transition effort, but there's not a single player in the sport that can stay in front of Wall. "It's winning time, and we're going to do whatever it takes to get a win".
The Hawks worked back into the game, their home crowd chanting and screaming throughout the final 12 minutes. In case you haven't guessed by now, the Wall-Beal backcourt is as brilliant as any in the league.
The really bad: by the Hawks, who committed 15 turnovers in the half, leading to 20 Wizards points.
Washington continued to take advantage of Atlanta mistakes and led 65-46 at halftime. This slump will not last forever, and the fact that the Wizards were able to get the win despite Big Panda's shooting struggles should bode well for future games when his shooting stroke is (hopefully) revived. We locked in. Our teammates understood what we had (to do). A couple of three's. Unfortunately, You'll need to authenticate with your cable provider, so make sure you have your login and password for your cable system handy. WE did that, and that kind of fueled our offense.
The Bulls never led, and the Celtics held a steady double-digit lead since the second quarter. When the Hawks got a steal, Wall chased it down and blocked the shot off the backboard. He was in a little bit of a slump for most of April, but played well in Game 5 and 6.
Wall and Beal learned over the course of this series to read and adjust to what Atlanta was doing. "And they're different, too, so how you want to guard one isn't how you want to guard the other". In the heat of the moment, sometimes that's what makes it good.
Washington's starting five is strong, and both Wall and Beal are delivering what the franchise hoped they would. "Those two guys were a handful". He upped his field goal percentage to 55.8 percent and became a viable three-point threat, shooting 35.1 percent, up from 18.2 percent as a rookie. He kept saying, 'Wow, I'm on the floor with Dwight Howard.' He just kept saying he was excited. We know that we can't do it unless we get a stop.
"I'm a much better player than what I was two years ago", Wall said on the broadcast.
For Atlanta, an interesting offseason begins where they will try to retain Paul Millsap, an unrestricted free agent, and if they can't a rebuilding will start in earnest. That is just something that Atlanta can not afford if it wants to advance. They won a division title for the first time since 1979 and have made it known that they feel like they are conference final material. "Now I'm going to take some time, relax, and see what happens". We have a lot of good players, with his leadership and with Brad's leadership has been great.
But the play of those two men was just the start of the issues for the Hawks.