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Wake-Up Call: Drew Gooden could be a difference-maker as playoffs approach

Today's Wake-Up Call looks at the effect Drew Gooden has had stretching the floor of late for the Wizards, putting the February blues behind them, and how bowling brought the Wizards back to their old, better ways.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. Drew Gooden stepping up

And by stepping up he's essentially stepping back(wards). To the three-point line, that is. Gooden has been stretching the floor further than usual as of late and his shot-making is putting teams off-guard and creating matchup problems that the Wizards have coveted from a big who can stretch the floor.

2. February is in the past

It was an ugly month. Thank goodness it's over. Now, the Wizards are once again streaking for all the right reasons and they've reminded DC sports fans why they've been so fun to watch for most of the season.

3. Bowling solves all problems

The Cavs did it. Then went on a huge run to leapfrog most playoff teams in the Eastern Conference and jump to the second seed. Then the Wizards did it at the White House, and they've run off five straight wins, putting themselves back into the running for home court advantage and potentially even the third seed in the playoffs. A re-energized John Wall also helps a lot.

4. What the Wizards want and need

There have been a lot more ups in the 2014-15 season for Washington than typically seen in years past. Now, they're on the up once again and looking to gain traction heading into the playoffs. Check out this video to see what the Wizards expect to face -- and who they want to face -- once the playoffs roll around.

5. Wizards face Clippers tonight

The Wizards (40-28) head to La-La Land to face the Clippers (44-25) tonight in what will be an intriguing matchup of point guards. Wall stymied Chris Paul in their last meeting in DC. Wall then experienced a lull after the All-Star break but his energy has improved drastically as of late and the team is experiencing success once again as a result. But will his tweaked ankle hold up against one of the best point guards in the league?

Tip off is set for 10:30 pm at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. You can watch on Comcast SportsNet or listen live on 99.1 WNEW.