Archives For Washington Wizards

This Week In The Southeast, the Atlanta Hawks are resting and coasting their way to the finish line, the Washington Wizards go streaking, there’s a switch in division standings for the first time in quite awhile, and the Orlando Magic are doing Orlando things. No, not going to Disney World, but losing games…and okay well maybe going to Disney World too, but what does that have to do with basketball?

Atlanta Hawks, 52-14, 1st in the East, 3-1 this week ATL

It’s weird to be talking about how the Hawks haven’t been playing well, but…they haven’t been playing well. The Los Angles Lakers game doesn’t count cause they were resting players, but before that Atlanta received a throttling to a revived Denver Nuggets, and needed a 4th quarter come back to escape Phoenix with a victory. It makes sense that after clinching the playoffs, and at this point of the season, the Hawks would coast a little to the end, but it’s a little worrisome to see them play so horribly at times. If they ever go through a stretch like that in the playoffs it could cost them a game. However, if any of these problems they’re having are real, they can figure them out now with a month before the games really begin to matter again.

Washington Wizards, 38-28, 5th in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards are going streaking! They’ve won three in a row with some quality wins against a Hornets team they had lost five times to going in to last season, and an even bigger win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Washington has struggled beating better teams for much of the season, but if they can get back to what made them great early in the year then they could become a threat in the East once more.

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This Week In The Southeast, the Atlanta Hawks have clinched their way to the playoffs and that means they’re ready to coast the rest of the regular season, the Wizards have finally finished their regression to the mean, and the Heat and Hornets race for the playoffs is starting to heat up. The Magic? Well…they’re a team that plays basketball.

Atlanta Hawks, 49-13, 1st in the East, 2-1 this week ATL

Two big things for the Hawks happened this week. To start things off they clinched the playoffs already and it’s March. They also unveiled a statue of Atlanta Hawks legend, Dominique Wilkins, and had one of the greatest throwback nights in recent memory. They took on the Cleveland Cavaliers that night and managed to look pretty good against a team many people believe should have the advantage over Atlanta come playoff time. Of course, Atlanta couldn’t finish the week undefeated when they decided to rest starters to the Philadelphia 76ers and lose. Hey, the 95-96 Bulls lost to the expansion Raptors and who’s not to say that this Hawks team are the 95-96 Bulls?

Washington Wizards, 35-28, 5th in the East, 1-2 this week WAS

It’s hard to believe the Wizards were at one point the number one team in the Eastern conference, and a favorite to win the the Southeast Division. Their slide appears to have found a happy medium and Washington has regressed to a mean that fits around what they were last season. Just good enough to maybe make some noise in the playoffs, but just mediocre enough to not give you any real hope. This week the Wizards beat the playoff hopeful Miami Heat, and then they lost to the Bucks and Bulls.

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This Week In The Southeast, the All-Star break has come and gone and each team has reached the midway point of the season. Instead of recapping this week’s action we’ll be recapping how each team has looked for the season, how they project for the playoffs, and what trajectory they’re currently on.

Atlanta Hawks, 43-12, 1st in the East ATL

The Hawks started off the season a little slow, and a lot of us were wondering what their ceiling was, but then things started to get interesting. The offense was never a problem, but the defense started off the season struggling. This was likely due to Al Horford shaking off some rust and getting used to this season’s defensive scheme, but when it all came together oh man did it come together. The Hawks set a franchise record with 19 straight wins and some of the best basketball we’ve ever seen. They topped the NBA’s best time and time again, including a victory over the Golden State Warriors, and showed that they’re one of the top contenders in the NBA. However, they went into the All-Star break not playing like themselves, and recently were uncharacteristically blown out by the Raptors. It’s probably just boredom, or a random rough patch, but after all those wins early in the season it’s weird to see this group struggle at all.

Washington Wizards, 33-22, 5th in the East WAS

The Wizards started off the season as the best team in the East and got a lot of people jumping on to their bandwagon. John Wall was getting early season MVP consideration, Marcin Gortat was an All-Star, and that defense was just suffocating, but there was one problem that’s still showing up to this day. The Wizards started off the season with a very easy schedule, and they still can’t seem to beat a lot of the NBA’s best teams. They limped into the All-Star break falling all the way down to 5th in the East, and it feels like there’s just no chance of them catching the Hawks. Whatever Washington’s problems are they need to get it together, because the rest of the East is starting to put things together and the Wizards are looking outclassed by all of them.

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The Hawks may have lost their franchise-record 19-game winning streak on Monday in New Orleans, but they were right back on track when the Washington Wizards came to Atlanta on Wednesday night. As soon as the game tipped off, news broke that the Hawks had won the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for January. Not one player, but the entire starting lineup.

Any worries that the Hawks would be looking forward to Friday’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors were put to bed in the first quarter, in which Atlanta closed on a 16-3 run. The Hawks took a 13-point lead into halftime, but the Wizards were quick to bounce back, opening on a 20-10 run in the first six minutes of the third quarter and taking the lead late in the quarter.

Atlanta took a slim 77-74 lead into the fourth quarter but turned up the heat, culminating in the Hawks’ Dunk of the Year.

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This Week In The Southeast, The Hawks finished the greatest month in NBA history despite some talk about them not being quite playoff ready. Washington has stumbled back down to third in the conference, and it might be time to be concerned about their inability to beat elite teams. Towards the bottom of the playoff standings are the Heat and Hornets fighting for the 7-seed. Both teams have been disappointing this year and want to have some success, and they’ll have a better time convincing themselves of that if they don’t finish 8th. Then at the very bottom is Orlando, but all of their headlines relate to off court issues rather than on court ones.

Atlanta Hawks, 40-8, 1st in the East, 4-0 this week ATL

Once again, the Hawks finish the week perfect, but that’s not even the most impressive thing they accomplished. The Hawks have finished the month of January undefeated with a 17-0 record. They are the only team to do that in NBA history and it’s not like they had a cake walk of a month. January has featured victories over Toronto, Chicago, Oklahoma City, and Washington just to name a few. However, despite the fantastic month, they just had there are still concerns being brought up. Everybody agrees the Hawks are a great regular season team, but many experts question how a team like this can handle a seven game series. They reference the physicality and star factors of the playoffs could cause Atlanta to struggle. These are valid concerns, but it’s hard to bring them up at the moment with the Hawks on a 19-game winning streak. They also feel like a lot of speculation without much evidence to back it up, but that’s the way it’s going to be until the playoffs. Atlanta will have to prove they can win against the same opponent over and over again, and history has suggested that execution style teams like Atlanta can struggle in that kind of setting. However, on Atlanta’s side is what they are achieving as only been accomplished by previous NBA champions.

Washington Wizards, 31-17, 3rd in the East, 2-2 this week WAS

The Wizards are a very good basketball team, and they’ve shown that with their 31 wins this season. This week they managed to grab victories over the Lakers and Nuggets. The Lakers are bad, but the Nuggets are randomly good sometimes making that a nice win. Afterwards they lost the back to back to Phoenix, which is disappointing, but to be expected. However, the Wizards lost their most important game of the week and that was their Saturday game, at home, to Toronto. They let the Raptors go up big, but were able to force a comeback and go to overtime. They ended up losing in overtime and that continues this trend of Washington not being able to beat top NBA teams. This might not matter for a lot of people, but it’s something to take note of as the NBA shifts towards playoff races.

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This Week In The Southeast, because it’s January things are starting to get a little predictable. The Hawks extended their lead across the division, the Hornets are in the playoffs, and everything else stayed the same.

Atlanta Hawks, 36-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

Another perfect week for the dominating Atlanta Hawks. The Detroit Pistons exposed a weakness the Hawks have on MLK day with their gigantic and athletic front court, but Atlanta managed to pull out a victory and extend their winning streak. The Hawks then set a franchise record for most wins in a row with a victory over a healthy, but struggling, Oklahoma City squad. 15 straight wins, and a seven game lead for first place has everybody talking about the Hawks.

Washington Wizards, 29-15, 2nd in the East, 1-2 this week WAS

Washington’s struggles against upper tier NBA teams continues. This week their two losses came to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Portland Trailblazers. These losses are starting to become a concern, because they are losing games they should be winning. Yes, Portland was at home, but the Wizards were playing them while LaMarcus Aldridge was playing injured, Robin Lopez is out with an injury, and the Wizards did have the lead for a good portion of the game. So if Washington is supposed to be one of the top NBA teams, then why did they lose a game they need to win

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This Week In The Southeast, the Hawks’ winning streak is up to 12 games in a row, the Wizards have reclaimed the second spot in the East, and Charlotte is still surging. Meanwhile, the state of Florida is just confusing with the Heat bouncing back on a west coast road trip and apparently the Magic are still alive.

Atlanta Hawks, 33-8, 1st in the East, 5-0 this week ATL

Make it 12 straight for the Hawks. Are they currently the best team in the NBA? It’s definitely up for debate with how their defense has shaped up, and the way they beat all the top teams in the East this week. What’s been most impressive about their strong week is not only are the Hawks winning against other conference contenders, but they do so in such a convincing fashion. Atlanta throttled the Wizards by 31 points to start off the week, throttled the Raptors by 23 points, and then beat the Bulls by eight — in Chicago — on a back to back. The Hawks are scary good.

Washington Wizards, 28-13, 2nd in the East, 3-2 this week WAS

The Wizards had a solid week, but two bad losses kept it from being perfect. They had a bad loss at home to Brooklyn, but made up for it with the victory in Brooklyn on a back-to-back. Washington’s bigger problem right now is the Wizards are a tier below the Hawks right now, and there’s nothing to say they have the talent to join them at this moment. Continue Reading…

In a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks destroyed the Washington Wizards on Sunday afternoon, winning by a final score of 120-89.

The Hawks had eight players in double-figure scoring, led by Kyle Korver’s 19 points. The Hawks made 16 3-pointers, had 34 assists on 42 made field goals, and only turned the ball over eight times. “We were clicking tonight,” said Kyle Korver. “At this point, I don’t think we’ve played a better game.”

The Hawks’ offense was great, but the defense is where they really beat Washington. The Wizards had 20 total turnovers, 14 of which came via Atlanta steals. The Hawks were constantly swarming and disrupting Washington’s offense, using the energy off of the turnovers to create easy points in transition. The Hawks finished with 31 points off of the 20 Wizard turnovers, 21 of which came off of the fastbreak.

“The turnovers and activity fueled our offense,” said coach Mike Budenholzer. “The ball was moving, the guys were attacking and playing with a lot of confidence.” Continue Reading…

This Week in the Southeast, the Hawks dominate the Western conference to further prove how good they are. The Wizards rebound from their rough patch last week, but there are still questions about their validity as a top tier team in the East. The Miami Heat are imploding and it’s time to start asking questions about how long they can keep that 8th spot in the West. Meanwhile, Charlotte has won five straight and are showcasing Ewing theory to it’s maximum potential, and Orlando….we don’t speak about Orlando around these parts.

Atlanta Hawks, 28-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

Remember that loss to Milwaukee that was ending all of Atlanta’s positive momentum and “oh god that’s so typical Hawks”? Ha, me neither. This team is fun to watch and they’re really good to boot. They finished off their Western Conference road trip with a solid win against the Clippers, going undefeated on that trip, came home and beat a very good Memphis Grizzlies team on Tinder night, and survived a comeback effort by the smoking hot Pistons. Two wins against the Western Conference in one week is something not many East teams have the ability to do. Conferences are no problem for this fantastic team.

Washington Wizards, 25-11, 3rd in the East, 3-0 this week WAS

The Wizards had a nice rebound to last week’s rough patch by going undefeated this week. They had a solid win against an inconsistent Pelicans team and then beat the pants off the Bulls. The Wizards can handle the Bulls and anybody below them, but it’s teams like Atlanta, Toronto and the Western Conference that make me question how good the Wizards are. Is Washington in the same tier as Atlanta and Toronto right now? Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, it’s a New Year and how does 2015 begin? With the Hawks in first place of course! Atlanta was finally able to pass the Wizards in their two way race to the top, but while these two fight everybody else fumbles around at the bottom. The Hornets are the same as they’ve always been but the two Florida teams are really starting to fall apart, it’s getting ugly.

Atlanta Hawks, 25-8, 1st in the East, 3-0 this week ATL

The Hawks look damn near unstoppable right now. They started a West coast road trip this week and after a struggling win, over a feisty Jazz squad, the Hawks had to play the Blazers, in Portland, on a back to back. A rested Blazers team at home is usually a schedule loss but the Hawks won anyways, in fairly convincing fashion. Portland made it a game late but Atlanta held on to extend their latest win streak to four. Is there a team in the NBA hotter than the Hawks right now?

Washington Wizards, 22-11, 4th in the East, 1-4 this week WAS

The Holiday season was not kind to the Wizards. Washington started their own West Coast road trip this week and it’s been rough. They managed to scrape by a win against a struggling Houston squad, but a blowout to Dallas with two more losses to San Antonio and Oklahoma City does not bode well for Washington. Admittedly, the Wizards were on a back to back when playing the Spurs and Thunder, but this raises questions about Washington’s ability to beat elite teams. Lucky for them they don’t have to worry about another trip west until late January.

Miami Heat, 14-20, 8th in the East, 0-3 this week MIA

The Heat are imploding. First they lost Chris Bosh, then they got back Chris Bosh and the losses continued to pile up. Miami has some real talent on their team but they lack depth and LeBron James isn’t around to make up for the lesser end players at the end of the rotation. It also doesn’t help that Miami has had a lot of injuries to key players throughout the season. Despite going 0-3 this week with a loss to a horrible Magic team, Miami is still in possession of the East’s final playoff spot. The East overall isn’t as bad as people say but oh man is the bottom as bad as people say.

Orlando Magic, 10-19, 11th in the East, 1-4 this week ORL

The Magic started off the season as a team that could steal wins and compete every night. They have regressed into a squad that frequently plays like one of the worst teams in the NBA. There’s no organization on offense, the defense is easy to exploit, and players have mentally checked out. After Orlando’s first win against Miami since March 2012, the Magic almost stole a game against Brooklyn in a wild comeback effort. They tried to do the same against Charlotte but the deficit was too big to overcome. Things are not right in Orlando and there’s no way to tell what is going to fix it.

Charlotte Hornets, 11-24, 12th in the East, 1-3 this week CHA_Hornets

The Hornets seem to have found a nice fluctuation with how bad they are. They’re not as bad as the worst teams in the NBA but they’re not good enough to be mediocre. No lead is safe with the Hornets and to make matters worse Al Jefferson is going to be out for a minimum of four weeks. It’s time to bury Charlotte and focus on positives they can bring in to next season.