With John Wall still out with an injury, the Wizards will need a repeat of their strong Saturday performance to take the 3-1 edge over the Hawks.
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The Washington Wizards (2-1) host the Atlanta Hawks (1-2) in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals without John Wall again as they try to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Wizards managed to pull off the win over Atlanta on Saturday thanks to a buzzer-beating two-point shot by veteran F Paul Pierce. Pierce’s final shot more than made up for the seven missed FGs he had on the day, and he finished the game with 13 points. Unfortunately for the Wizards, not a single player recorded a double-double for the second straight game since losing John Wall in Game 1, and in Game 3 not a single player contributed even 18 points. With the starting five getting gassed from all of the minutes they’re playing due to the struggles of the bench players, the Wizards may not last much longer without Wall. It also hasn’t helped that the team went 19 of 29 from the free throw line with starting F Nene Hilario missing 4 of his 7 shots.
As for the Hawks, G Kyle Korver has suddenly reverted to the invisible form that nearly cost them the series against the Brooklyn Nets. In a team-high 37 minutes played, Korver recorded just 6 points off two successful 3-point shots. Starting F Pero Antic didn’t earn his start by recording just 1 point in 15 minutes with no successful shots from inside or outside the paint. Bench player Dennis Schroder contributed 18 points, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the inability to get defensive rebounds.
But the Hawks still have plenty of weapons at their disposal if they can get their lineup right and get Kyle Korver to return to the kind of production that allowed them to beat the Nets.
Prediction: Atlanta Hawks win Game 4 – It seems more likely that the Hawks can muster a strong performance out of Kyle Korver than for the Wizards to win back-to-back games with almost nothing but Paul Pierce buzzer-beaters and some smoke and mirrors.