Wizards second round playoff preview

DC rising

DC rising

We now know that the Washington Wizards will face the Eastern Conference’s number one seed Indiana Pacers in the second round of the playoffs. Just looking at the seeding would lead you to believe that Indiana is the favorite to win the series but I think you would be hard pressed to really make the case for them. Indiana’s biggest shortcoming is in the back court. No such trouble there for the Wizards.

John Wall and Bradley Beal really broke into the elite category with their performance against the Bulls. With Wall’s explosive speed and athleticism, it seems most pundits expect him to play with the same style as a Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose but Wall has shown himself to be a very capable point guard in the classic sense. Wall seems to know when he is needed to score and when he needs to distribute the ball. Beal has been lights out since the first game against Chicago. Beal’s is a threat to score from anywhere on the court and will most likely draw defensive coverage from Indiana’s Paul George. With George on Beal, Trevor Ariza will draw a less competent defender making him a real x-factor in this series.

The front line of Roy Hibbert and David West had been a strong point for the Pacers during the first half of the regular season. Not so much down the stretch. Hibbert made his name giving the Miami Heat fits during last season’s playoff series but the vaunted reputation as a game changer has always been a bit flawed. You must keep in mind that Miami is undersized on their front line so any dominance of them must be viewed in context. Hibbert has been fairly average against any equally sized competition dating back to his days at Georgetown.

Nene just took the Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah to school. With Marcin Gortat and David West basically equaling each other out, the front line looks like another advantage for the Wizards. The Wizards are feeling good and playing loose and free flowing basketball. The Pacers on the other hand are under a lot of pressure and are playing very tight basketball. Momentum is on the side of Washington. The Wizards are a team on the rise. All signs point to this playoff season being their coming out party.

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Brian Hradsky

The owner of MSB, I created this website while in college and it has never died.

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