In a previous article of mine, I talked about how the Boston Celtics’ chance to push the Cavs for the Eastern Conference crown ended five minutes into the first quarter Tuesday night once Hayward went down with a terrible injury.
I briefly touched on who could take over as the team that could push the Cavs in the East and the Washington Wizards were one of them.
Here is why the Wizards are the new team to push the Cavs in the East.
To start with, they have one of the best point guards in the NBA, who is also a legit MVP candidate in John Wall.
How good is Wall?
Well, to start with, he is one of two point guards who averaged a double-double last season with 23.1 ppg and 10.7 assists. Who was the other point guard who averaged a double-double? That would be reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook. Wall also lead the league in steals with 2.1 steals per game.
Very few point guards push the ball up the floor like Wall. The best way to describe Wall in transition is a mac truck through a garden party. In three games against the Cavs last year, Wall averaged 25.6 points and 8.6 assists.
Wall may have been a defensive nightmare for the Cavs with Irving being a defensive liability. That liability could still exist with matchups against Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose.
Wall’s wingman, Bradley Beal, is no slouch as well. You could even argue that Washington has one of the best backcourts in the NBA.
Golden State was one of two teams in the NBA that had both guards land in the top-10 in the league in points per game. You know who was the other? The Washington Wizards with Beal and Wall.
You know who the only team in the NBA to have both guards be in the top-10 in assists per game? If you guessed the Wizards, you are correct.
If you are an NBA junkie like myself you know this team is one of the more entertaining teams to watch in the NBA.
The way they play fast, attack the basket and even the way they play defense is nothing to be ignored.
What is the most intriguing part about this Wizards team is their unwavering confidence. This was shown in an article written by ESPNs Brian Windhorst.
In the article, Windhorst mentions how the Wizards think the Cavs tanked at the end of the season to avoid a second round matchup with the team.
Here is a quote from Wall talking about the Cavs tanking in Windhorsts article.
“To be honest, I think they said [to themselves] if we’re going to see them, we don’t want it to be until the East finals,” Wall said. “We were the team that gave them the most trouble in the East. That’s my opinion, some people might not agree with me.”
Whether you think it is ridiculous or not, confidence isn’t an issue for the Wizards.
Will the Wizards beat the Cavs? Most likely not, but they now pose as the biggest threat for the Cavs. Wall and Beal will put up their numbers, but the Wizards lack depth. Their best bench player is Kelly Oubre, who is a solid player, but they don’t have much after him. Last year in the playoffs versus the Celtics, head coach Scott Brooks pushed Wall and Beal to the limit and the team fell apart in the fourth.
The Cavs could win this series in five, but with an injury or two, the Wizards could push the Cavs for the Eastern Conference crown.
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