ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes that the #Washington Wizards could go on a notable run in the NBA playoffs. The Wizards are set to meet the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards will have home court advantage, having finished the regular season at number four respectively the Hawks at number five.
Should Washington make it past Atlanta -- they would meet the winner of the series between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls.
The Cleveland Cavaliers, the second seed of the East, are considered to be the strongest team in the conference -- though they did finish the regular season at number two. The Wizards and Cavs can meet as early as in the #Eastern Conference Finals.
''I'm going with the Wizards,'' Smith said on ESPN's First Take. ''I still believe the Wizards have a legitimate shot at getting to the Eastern Conference finals. They wouldn't have to face the Cavs until that moment of time.''
John Wall and Bradley Beal will ''show up'
The Washington Wizards have one of the best backcourts in the whole NBA. Point guard Wall and shooting guard Beal led their team to a 49-33 record and the number four seed in the East. The Wizards have 46.2 points per game combined from their star duo as both players have been averaging 23.1 points per game so far on the season. Washington will certainly need its star duo to perform well if they want to leave their mark in this year's NBA playoffs.
Except for Wall and Beal, the Wizards have a good contribution in names of Bojan Bogdanovic, Markieff Morris, and Otto Porter Jr.
Forwards Morris and Porter Jr. have been averaging 14 points respectively 13.4 points per game, while Bogdanovic has been collecting 12.7 points per contest since arriving at the deadline in Washington.
''I believe in John Wall. I believe in Bradley Beal,'' Smith added. ''I got serious questions about everybody else. But I like them since they've picked up Bogdanovic. It's just that they've got to play together.''
Smith tips Washington to beat Atlanta
Stephen A. Smith has tipped the Washington Wizards to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the first-round of the NBA playoffs. The two teams met four times during the regular season -- Washington took the season-series over Atlanta with three wins and one loss. The Wizards defeated the Hawks in their last three matchups, after dropping the first. The first game of the series is scheduled to be held on Sunday at the Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
''I'm still high on the Washington Wizards until the Eastern Conference finals,'' Smith said. ''And I'm going to stick with them right now -- they'll beat the Hawks.''
#Stephen A Smith