Watching the Wizards win in the playoffs is a lot like the first time someone shares their HBO password with you. It's fun. It's enjoyable. But it's hard to get the most out of it when you can't escape the feeling deep down inside that what you're seeing is wrong and one day it may come back to bite you if the powers that be get their act together.
If you watched Wizards' win over the Hawks in Game 1 live, you had a stronger sense of these feelings than you're probably accustomed to, even in this bizarre world where the Wizards haven't lost a playoff game and Randy Wittman has the fourth-best playoff winning percentage by a coach in NBA history. Even though the Wizards put together a great performance, spearheaded by a masterful performance from John Wall, it was hard to ignore the fact that Atlanta struggled to capitalize on their open looks:
If you're a Hawks fan, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic going forward that those shots will go down at a better rate the rest of the series. Still, essentially claiming victory, like Paul Millsap did on Monday after practice, might be a bit of a stretch. Here's what he had to say, according to J. Michael of CSN Washington:
"We played well enough to win the game," he said after Monday's practice. "Internally, we felt like we won the game. A few crucial mistakes. A few plays let them back in the game."
But Millsap, who had 15 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, was asked to explain what he meant by "internally," so he did: "Let me be specific, we feel good about it. Ten-point lead going into halftime. Come back out, took some good shots, missed some open shots. Wasn't as aggressive as we needed to be. We feel good about it."
We're glad Millsap and the Hawks are feeling good, but they seem to be forgetting they already lost Game 1. Even if things get corrected the way they hope, they still have to find a way to beat the Wizards four times even though they only have three games left at home in this series. And even though their shots might drop at a better rate in future games, odds are John Wall and Bradley Beal won't get hurt again and Nene will probably play better than he did Game 1. Certainly, the Hawks still have a great shot -- they are a 60 win team after all -- but they're not doing themselves any favors by treating losses like wins.
Now, if you'll excuse us, we'll get back to
watching Game of Thrones breaking down game film.