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Wizards vs. Hawks Game 6 preview: Washington tries to avoid elimination at home

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Game Info:

Where and When?

The Washington Wizards take on the Atlanta Hawks in the Verizon Center Friday night at 7 p.m.

TV?

The game will air on ESPN.

Radio?

You can join the #radioparty on 99.1 WNEW.

Injury Report

John Wall (one functional hand) will play tonight. Thabo Sefolosha (long story, let's not go there) will not.

Storylines for Game 6

Can Paul Pierce rally the troops one last time?

Paul Pierce's swagger has rubbed off on every single Wizard in the playoffs, but after a disastrous sequence to end Game 5, Pierce has to find a way to rally the team. Perhaps he'll go back to what he told the team at the start of the season:

Hey, we got to protect home court this year. Anybody who come up here, they're going to get beaten up.

If they can make that happen tonight, it would serve as the clearest sign yet of the tangible value Paul Pierce has brought to the team, even in spite of his occasionally excessive bravado.

Can Bradley Beal continue to shut down Kyle Korver?

Bradley Beal's defense on Kyle Korver has been nothing short of incredible in this series. Yet, for as good as he was, his one misstep, leaving Kyle Korver slightly open for a deep three in transition late in the game, meant a lot in a game the Wizards lost by a single point. While you can't blame him for costing the team the game, it goes to show how slim the margin for error is between these two teams. As great as Beal's been in this series, he can't afford to let up for even a second in Game 6.

Does Randy Wittman have any tricks left up his sleeves to slow down Atlanta's big men?

If there was any doubt, Game 5 conclusively showed the Wizards can't keep up with Atlanta's big men. Mike Muscala is too big and too skilled for Drew Gooden, Paul Millsap is too fast for Nene and Al Horford is just better than Marcin Gortat. The Wizards can't make any adjustments to change those realities. Question is: Will Randy Wittman try to give Kris Humphries and/or Kevin Seraphin a shot tonight to see if they can do anything differently, make some defensive scheme adjustments to give the Wizards' bigs more support, or will the Wizards just chalk it up as a loss and hope their advantages on the perimeter can win out?