Game 5 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks will be on Wednesday. Here is how to watch it online.
Through four games of the 2017 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks, the series is all tied up at two games apiece. The home teams have won all four games in this best-of-seven series.
Washington leaned on starting point guard John Wall to bring the Wizards to victory at the Verizon Center in Games 1 and 2. Atlanta pulverized Washington with points in the paint at Philips Arena in Games 3 and 4.
Game 5 in Washington will likely be when this series flips. The winner will be in great position to close out its Southeast Division rival in Game 6 in Atlanta, or possibly Game 7 back in Washington. Tension in this rivalry series is at a boiling point. The results so far have been to the fans of good NBA playoff basketball.
While we shouldn’t expect a deviation in either team’s starting five, it might be time for Washington to mix it up. Obviously Wall will start at point guard and Bradley Beal at shooting guard. There is no logical reason to break up Washington’s starting backcourt. However, Washington has to have at least one of them on the floor at all times to keep Atlanta at bay.
As for the Wizards’ backcourt, head coach Scott Brooks may need to reevaluate. Though he only scored two points in Game 4’s loss, Brooks should be satisfied with the production center Marcin Gortat gave the Wizards on the glass.
That being said, small forward Otto Porter Jr. has often disappeared in this series and power forward Markieff Morris has had a miserable first four games. Starting Bojan Bogdanovic over Porter could happen, but Brooks might have to consider starting Jason Smith at the four over Morris. Power forward has been Washington’s Achilles’ Heel in this first-round series.
Though Atlanta still needs to win on the road in Washington at least once to win this series, don’t expect head coach Mike Budenholzer to deviate from the starting five he’s used in the first four games. Expect Dennis Schroder at point guard, Tim Hardaway Jr. at shooting guard, Taurean Prince at small forward, Paul Millsap at power forward and Dwight Howard at center.
The only guy that could start for Atlanta previously coming off the bench is wing Kent Bazemore. He played better in Game 4 than he had at any other point in the series. Bazemore could switch spots with Hardaway to essentially make Hardaway a sixth man in this crucial road game. However, Washington is a different, more menacing animal at home. Not sure Budenholzer wants to mess up the chemistry he has had in place with this current starting five.