Hawks' Millsap ready to match Morris, Wiz with 'MMA' style

Washington Wizards start in the right direction in Game 1

If so, their timing is impeccable. In fact, in the third quarter, the Wizards only had two of their 25 fast-break points.

Washington shouldn't forget about this win, but Game-2 is approaching on Wednesday.

Two years ago, the Hawks eliminated the Wizards in six games in the second round, with Washington point guard John Wall dealing with a broken hand. I'll happily take the Wizards to pull away late and take a 2-0 series lead going to Atlanta. With a speedy point guard like Dennis Schroder, they will need to make the proper defensive rotations off of penetration to prevent easy baskets for Millsap and Howard, or open threes by Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore. Washington's Southeast Division rival, the Atlanta Hawks, finished with a 43-39 record this season.

Howard shrugged off the lack of support.

Rondo said they wanted to be aggressive. We have to get it going.' If I don't lead these guys, on the court, in practice, show leadership off the court, talking to guys, talking in the locker room, we're never going to get to where we want to go, never going to get to the promised land. Atlanta is postseason-bound for the 10th straight season, followed by Memphis (7), the Clippers (6) and the Warriors and Rockets (5 each).

Morris does. The biggest mismatch with Atlanta comes when Ersan Ilyasova tries to stay in front of Morris who is too good off the dribble and facing up. His shooting and secondary playmaking will be essential as they go on to challenge stronger teams after they dispatch with the lowly Hawks. That's the second-most by Wizards starters in a playoff game over the past 20 seasons.

We'll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game. With that said, with a John Wall on the floor and knowing how close they were to an East Finals appearance just two seasons ago, I see him taking his game to an even higher level and submitting his argument as a top 3 point guard in the National Basketball Association. He demanded better ball movement.

"John can take over games, he can take over quarters, he can take over plays", coach Scott Brooks said. He wanted to see teammates high-fiving each other and playing with enthusiasm. The five-year veteran signed a four-year, $70 million contract with the Hawks last offseason. "I definitely felt good out there".

If the Hawks are going to enter Wednesday's contest with any amount of optimism for leaving Washington with a series tied at 1-1, some significant adjustments are going to have be built into to how they attempt to deal with Wall and Gortat in their high screen action. It was his first full season in Washington. "It's playoff time, so we upped it up another notch". Frankly, it seemed like a miserable year in Chicago after management brought in veterans Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade and the team failed to gel. Atlanta averaged 103.2 points per game on offense this season while allowing 104 on defense.

No. 4 Wizards (49-33) vs.

It was a sliding door moment for the Wizards - a big what if - many thought with a healthy Wall the Wizards would've won the series; John Wall included. Not only is he one of the best players in his position, he's one of the best players in the league.

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