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Injury report: Despite injuring their wrist and ankle, respectively, John Wall and Bradley Beal expect to both be a go Tuesday night. Thabo Sefolosha is still out for the Hawks.
Storylines for Game 2
Can the Wizards clamp down on defense [again]? The Wizards allowed the Hawks to hit 14 of their first 22 shots - including five of eight from beyond the arc - to give them a 63-53 lead at halftime. The second half was a different story, as the Hawks only shot 37.8 percent from the floor. In fact, Atlanta scored more points in the first quarter (37) of Sunday's game than it did in the entire second half (35). Brilliant! Randy Wittman made ‘Zards fans feel many types of ways with his second half adjustments - especially in crunch time the fourth quarter, as the Wizards allowed the Hawks to hit just five of 28 shots (17.9 percent), including just one of 10 from the arc. That poor shooting by the Hawks can't and likely won't carry into Game 2 [they were 15-for-49 on uncontested shots], especially while they are still on their home court. Wittman will have to out in-game adjust Mike Budenholzer again to keep that five-game undefeated postseason winning streak alive.
Will the House of Guards continue to wow? John Wall's 17.4 points and 12.6 assists per game in the playoffs combined with Beal's 22.2 points is what Wizards fans were waiting for all season. However, heading into Tuesday's game, both backcourt members are a bit beat up, as aforementioned. However, that grit they showed Sunday doesn't just go away after a few days. The Wizards' speedy tempo on both the offensive and defensive ends [they forced 11 Hawks turnovers, for example] of the court is what got them that DUB on Sunday, and it will have to stay that way if they want to steal Game 2 in Atlanta.
What's going on with Washington's bigs? Atlanta's Al Horford [17 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists] and Paul Millsap [15 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists] both had pretty effective games Sunday. They also played pretty well defensively against Washington's Marcin Gortat [12 points, 12 rebounds, two assists] and Nene [0 points, three rebounds 0 assists]. Will be interesting to see how Gortat rebounds after having quite the series against the Toronto Raptors. Nene's postseason play has been pretty ... well, no good. God bless Otto Porter and Drew Gooden's Sunday play, but the bench can't do it all - Gortat and Nene need to play better Tuesday to get back into a rhythm against this offensively dangerous team.
But wait, can where are the numbers? Never would I ever leave you without any numbers. Here are some for you to enjoy: The Wizards are one of only two teams undefeated in this year's playoffs [the Golden State Warriors being the other]. The Wizards also open 1-0 against the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seeded team for the second year in a row. And the Wizards are the first team in NBA history to win four straight Game 1's on the road. 5 down, 11 to go.