This article provides the Hawks keys to victory in advancing to the next round. Wall scored 32 points, his playoff career-high. "The game rewards you".
The Hawks are by no means out of this series. The Hawks can win a game or two at home, but this feels like a series that Washington will win in five or six games.
Season series: Wizards, 3-1. Scott Brooks entered, and following a 2-8 start, helped the Wizards win their most games since going 54-28 in the 1978-79 season. They need to do it again.
Another positive at times was the rookie forward Taurean Prince, who continues to showcase his potential on the big stage. They have done some damage against Atlanta this season. That was the first time since the 2011 NBA Playoffs that a team did not connect on a shot from distance in the opening two quarters of a ball game.
"I thought Timmy's defense on [Beal] - I think the attention to detail, hopefully not getting screened [and] mixing up what he does on him - I thought Tim's defense was pretty good". The Hawks adjusted as they kept going with Millsap on the offensive end and the Wizards couldn't do anything about it defensively fearing they'd get called for a foul.
"The difference in the game was we were playing basketball and they were playing MMA", Millsap told reporters.
Make or miss, the entire Washington team was aggressive in Game 1.
Morris also was the main defender against Atlanta's top frontcourt scorer, Paul Millsap. It was a bad showing for all five starters. He needs to improve in the rest of the series. Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 25 points. The Hawks spoke about the Wizards being physical after game one and that they'd have to match their physicality but it was the refs that took notice.
John Wall earned chants of "M-V-P!" while finishing with 32 points and nine assists, including the dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38 seconds remaining that sealed the win for the hosts. The trouble for Atlanta is it does not have too many places to turn to for better play.
I am a big fan of Coach Mike Budenholzer, but I think he made a few mistakes with his rotation in Game 1. Defensively, the Wizards are yielding 107.4 points per game against the opposing teams. "It did concern me, but I like guys that play with effort".
Physicality The playoffs always bring out a more physical style of play, as more is at stake and the intensity level gets cranked up.
The Wizards used their home crowd to jump out to an early lead on Sunday and then they played up the crowd in a dominating third quarter.
Speaking of that high-scoring backcourt, why was Thabo Sefolosha not given those minutes over Jose Calderon? The series shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday. It is worth noting, Sefolosha was banged up toward the end of the season, but all reports are that he is now healthy. Despite teammate Brandon Jennings' Players' Tribune essay making the case for Wall as MVP, Washington's four-time All-Star broke it down as Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden, with Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and himself in the next tier. Brooks took over as head coach the following season and coached Durant for eight more seasons.
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