The Washington Wizards finished out the NBA regular season with a record of 46-36 to take the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and were matched up to face the fourth seeded Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs. Entering the series, the majority of NBA fans thought that it would be the closest and most entertaining first round match-up in the East, but instead the Wizards shocked the basketball world.
John Wall and Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards into the first round ready to play, regardless of home court advantage being in favor of their opponent. As the series got underway, small forward Trevor Ariza was replaced with Paul Pierce, adding another surprise to the mix because of the veteran’s his old age. Despite the critics, Pierce proved his clutch gene is still in effect and came up huge for Washington in the first round. Throughout the series, Pierce played at a very high level and showed why he deserves the nickname “The Truth”. Meanwhile, the Raptors got very little production from their All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry and the entire team just seemed lost. Although Toronto was a frightening contender during the regular season, Washington’s defense made it awfully difficult for the Raptors’ offence to produce. The Washington Wizards swept the Raptors in four games, earning the team a few needed days of rest until they would face off against the Atlanta Hawks in the second round.
Due to their size and two All-Star caliber guards, the Washington Wizards have the ability to match up well against any team in the NBA and provide a serious threat. Even though Washington will face a top-ranked Atlanta team in the second round, the Wizards have a very good chance of pulling off an upset. The Hawks came into the postseason with a record of 60-22 for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Prior to meeting the Wizards, it took the Hawks six games to knock off the eighth seeded Brooklyn Nets. Continuing on their unexpected postseason run, the Washington Wizards stole the very first game of the series in Atlanta. With John Wall sitting out in Game 2, the Hawks evened the score to put the series at 1-1. Now, the Washington Wizards have three out of five possible games at home and control their fate. If the Wizards win the best of seven series against Atlanta, they will face the winner of Chicago and Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Finals.
At 1-1 in the second round against the Atlanta Hawks, the Wizards aren’t going down without a fight and look to emerge as a contender for the Eastern Conference title, despite being the underdog. Check out the video below to see the recent shipment of Washington Wizards game-used collectibles arrive at Fanatics Authentic and shop the selection of Washington Wizards memorabilia to celebrate your favorite NBA stars as the 2015 NBA Playoffs competition gets even fiercer.