This week the #dcFamily saw what no one was expecting. The Wizards allowed their domination of the Atlanta Hawks completely slip. The Wizards dropped 2 straight at Philips arena. It wasn’t even a 2 close games where the Hawks were able to close, it was 2 dominating performances by the Hawks. This has caused panic all over the DMV! Anyone notice how tense the dcFamily was today? Notice how all Wizards fan were in a horrible mood today? We sure did! We had heated discussions amongst the DTC crew to the point where some of us almost uninstalled WhatsApp, the unofficial DTC group chat tool, while discussing this series! While on twitter during the game yesterday I read comments from fans that read, “I wish we still had Nene”, “Keef is garbage”, and even some suggesting we should turn to Trey Burke! I think the whole fan base can agree that emotions were high and a lot of nonsense was talked about yesterday. None of those things are true or should even be considered. 24 hours after the Hawks tied up the series 2-2, we can all calm down and come back down to reality. The reality is that the Wizards struggled mightily and there is certainly cause for concern, but its now a best of 3 that the Wizards can and should take. Here are a couple thoughts that could turn this series back into the Wizards favor.
Enough of the theatrics
The series started with the Wizards playing physical ball. In games 1 and 2 the Wizards were the better team by leaps and bounds, but maybe the game within the game back fired and got into the Wizards heads. It’s time to stop worrying about “MMA”, “Cry babies”, “stare downs” and worrying about the refs clearly calling lopsided games. The Wizards are averaging 10.2 more fouls than the Hawks this series, which is actually the biggest foul difference in any post season series. At this point the refs are not going to change the way they’re officiating the game and the refs aren’t going to let the Wizards play physical, so its time to change the game plan. The Wizards have to find a way to win despite the refs. The Wizards are the better team, and when the Wizards can play the game they know, moving the ball around, getting Gortat involved on the offensive end, crashing the boards and playing sound defense the Wizards can and will win.
Get Wall and Beal some help
The offensive game has been lopsided most of the series with maybe the exception of game 1. Wall and Beal have certainly been putting in the work to get their points but the rest of the team has to get more involved on offense. We saw Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic get a little bit more involved in game 4 and this has to continue. The Hawks had 7 players in double digit scoring in game 4 where the Wizards only had 4. This has got to change and in order for this to change this all starts with staying out of foul trouble. At this point I look to Markeiff to change his defensive game up and get back to the game 1 Keef. Balanced scoring is a must.
Defense wins the series
This has probably been a struggling point of the team all season, but at this point it comes down to will, Wizards will over the Hawks will. Maybe this means more time for Oubre, maybe this means more energy and more effort from the front court. Whatever it is, it needs to happen ASAP. The Wizards have their backs up against the wall now and the series momentum has shifted in favor of the Hawks, the Wizards need to come out and shut down the Hawks by playing defense.
The series is sitting at 2-2 but the Wizards still have the home court advantage. A win tomorrow night where tip is at 6PM and the phone booth will likely be half full (We all know how bad traffic is in this area making it very difficult to make a 6PM tip) will define the series. As fans lets give the team some energy and come out with a win!