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Wizards vs. Hawks preview: Keeping the Hawks off our tailfeathers

After a big win against Indiana, the Wizards try to keep the focus so they can keep the Hawks at arm's length during the playoff race.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Heck of a win last night, eh? Let's not get too comfortable. Tonight's a big game, too. Atlanta and Charlotte are right on Washington's tail. The Wizards need this win to put some distance between themselves. And if they win tonight, the Wizards' magic playoff number is 1.


Where and when? Gametime is 8 p.m. at the Verizon Center.

Are they good? They've been beat up all year, but they're a smart team. They're currently in sole place of the eighth seed in the East, and a win for them tonight would be a big boost to their chances to stay in the hunt. A win for the Wizards would make the rest of the season pretty comfortable.

Who's out? Nene's still inactive, as is GRJR. Atlanta's missing Al Horford, John Jenkins, and Gustavo Ayon. And they're likely missing Kyle Korver and Pero Antic.

What are they good at? They're a pretty average team right now, but they'll likely get better as they figure out how to play under the Ferry-Budenholzer regime. Plus, it's really hard to gauge them when they're best player, Horford, has been out for so long.

What are they bad at? Staying healthy. And tonight's no different. They're a skeleton crew, so Washington needs to capitalize and put this one to bed early.

Who's going to win? Not only should the Wizards win, they need to win this game. They got back in a groove last night against Indiana, and they should continue their roll over a thin Atlanta squad. All's fair in love and playoff-positioning, right?

Ready for tonight? DE-FENSE (CLAP CLAP). DE-FENSE (CLAP CLAP).