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Wizards vs. Hawks Game 3 preview: Wizards hope to survive life after Wall's injury

With John Wall likely out for Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards will need a big performance from Ramon Sessions as well as other key players to take an advantage in the series.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info:

Where and When?

The Washington Wizards take on the Atlanta Hawks at 5pm on Saturday evening in the Verizon Center.


The game will air on ESPN.


As always the #RadioParty will be on 99.1 WNEW

Injury Report?

As I'm sure you've heard, John Wall has fractures in his wrist & hand. Washington officials have not yet confirmed his game time status or a timetable for return, but it appears unlikely that he will play in Game 3. On the other side Atlanta has no notable injuries other than Thabo Sefolosha, who has been out since mid-April and does not plan on returning in the postseason.

Storylines for Game 3

Can Ramon Sessions produce like he did in Game 2?

In John Wall's absence, Ramon Sessions stepped up in a big way Tuesday night in Game 2. He notched 21 points and 4 assists in the contest, including one hot streak where he scored the first ten points after halftime for the Wizards. Another added bonus was his ability to hit from long range, where he went 3-5. Although in the end his efforts weren't enough, Washington will need another performance like this from him in order to remain competitive during Wall's injury period. Ramon has been a starter for a number of teams during his career and this will be his 12th start of the season (4th with the Wizards). Let's hope he can use that experience to his advantage on Saturday.

Who else can step up?

Ramon Sessions (21 pts), Bradley Beal (20 pts), Paul Pierce (15 pts) and Otto Porter (15 pts) all had very solid games on Tuesday night. However, they also accounted for 79% of Washington's offense. Unless one of them can go off and have a career night, someone else will have to step up as well to beat this high powered Atlanta offense. Garrett Temple looked rusty coming off the bench for his first minutes in nearly two months, but will likely continue to get some run on Saturday as the backup point guard. Will Bynum may see time in the backup PG position, he has mostly been an unknown quantity but could provide a spark that Washington needs. Kris Humphries curiously has not played at all in the postseason despite Nene's struggles, but at times he has been the sixth man for the Wizards during the regular season. No matter who it is, someone off of the bench will need to have a big game in order for us to stay competitive. Check out Umair Khan's piece for more on the subject.

What's the deal with Nene?

Nene has struggled mightily during the postseason to say the least. Game 1 in the Toronto series he played well, with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Since then, his numbers have plummeted and he has yet to even score a field goal in the Atlanta series. Despite this, he is still getting more playing time than Drew Gooden and Kris Humphries has yet to even enter a game. It will be interesting to see how Randy handles the PF minutes on Saturday night and if Nene will start to earn playing time back. Even having 80% of regular season Nene would go a long way, especially on the defensive side of the ball. #PrayForNene