First, I want to wish all of of your mothers (and to you if you are a mom!) a very Happy Mother’s Day in 2020. I know this year has been a trying one to say the least given that we have the coronavirus pandemic. However, I also hope that you are able to spend time with mom, whether in person or at a safe social distance. If you can’t meet mom in person, perhaps it is best that you send some food or another gift she will enjoy.
Mother’s Day is another popular time for us as Wizards fans because they made the second round of the NBA playoffs three times in the 2010s, specifically in 2014, 2015 and 2017. The second round of the playoffs generally happens in early May, usually around Mother’s Day. Here were some of the best performances we saw in the second round playoff sereis in each of those years, but they are not exhaustive.
2014: John Wall and Marcin Gortat score 58 combined points in a 102-79 win over the Pacers in Game 5
The Wizards headed into Game 5 on May 13, 2014, just two days after losing on Mother’s Day proper at home to the Pacers. They were also just one game away from elimination. Usually, teams in a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series slump to a Game 6 if they win. Case in point? Caron Butler’s game-winner against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of their first round playoff series in 2008.
But in this case, the Wizards thoroughly pummeled Indiana from start to finish. Watching that game live on TV gave me a lot of optimism heading into Game 6, even though Washington’s playoff run came to an end.
2015: Paul Pierce calls game vs. the Hawks in Game 3
May 9, 2015 was the day before Mother’s Day. My mom came with me to this game to see the Wizards in the playoffs once again. The Wizards played without Wall due to a fractured wrist, but they still more than held their own, leading for much of the game.
Atlanta tied the game late, but Paul Pierce earned himself a lot of love with his last shot of the game. The Wizards led the series 2-1 after his game winner and he even made more late game shots in future games. I’d have to say that this was my favorite playoff series in the John Wall Era.
2017: John Wall’s game winner in Game 6 vs. the Celtics
On May 12, 2017, John Wall made a game winning and series saving three pointer in the final seconds to lead the Wizards to a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of their second round playoff series.
This is definitely Washington’s biggest play in the John Wall Era from a strict playoff perspective, even though I’m not sure if this is the apex of the Wall Era so far, at least from a “care-free, playing without expectations” perspective.
Once again, Happy Mother’s Day!