The Washington Wizards enter tonight’s elimination game with all the momentum in the world. The Wizards made the pivotal game five look easy running away from the Indiana Pacers, 102-79, on the strength of 31 points from Marcin Gortat, 27 points from John Wall, and a dominating performance on the glass, out-rebounding the Pacers 62-23 .
The young Wizards team looked unfazed by their first opportunity to stave off elimination and dominated the entire game from start to finish. Now, the focus of the series turns back to Washington where the team was unable to hold a 22 point edge in game four. On top of this, the Wizards have looked rather uncomfortable at home and continue to struggle on their home floor. Had Washington held on to their game four lead, who knows what the series would stand at? Maybe the lead would even be the Wizards’ favor.
It may be difficult for the team to repeat their game five performance, but Washington must continue their strong shooting and rebounding numbers if they hope to force a winner takes all game seven. The Wizards team has gone as John Wall has gone and Washington looked like the team they were supposed to play like in game five. Wall was aggressive getting to the hole and systematically knocked down open jumpers to extend the lead. On top of this, he finished with 8 assists and many of these were to big man Gortat who was dominant in the interior.
When all is said and done, the Wizards have grown drastically in the 2014 playoffs and have proven to the league that they will be a forced to be reckoned with in years to come. Who knows maybe they’ll even be able to bring local product Kevin Durant to town and secure their second NBA Championship.