The Washington Wizards have had a very odd year. A slow start plagued them to begin the season, leading to a 2-8 start where they looked horrendous.
Luckily, Washington eventually hit their stride and ended the season 49-33. That was good enough for a Southeast division title and the four seed in the Eastern conference playoff picture.
The Wizards have now been to the postseason three of the past four years. The previous two times, Washington cruised by their first round opponent and looked poised for an Eastern Conference Finals berth. However, they stumbled in the second round and were ousted from contention.
This time around, I believe it will be different.
The Wizards have handled the Atlanta Hawks so far in this first round matchup. They're up 2-0 in the series thanks to a dynamic backcourt.
John Wall and Bradley Beal are lethal in their own separate ways. Wall's mix of speed, athleticism, and court vision has been on full display. He's netted back-to-back 32-point games to go along with 14 and nine assists.
Beal is known more for his versatile scoring ability. He can simply light it up from all areas on the floor.
The duo of Wall and Beal will carry the Wizards past Atlanta. In the second round, Washington will face either the Celtics or Bulls.
Surprisingly, the eighth seeded Bulls have taken a 2-0 series lead over the top seeded Celtics. Boston won't go down easy but a Chicago series victory would make Washington's path to the Eastern Conference Finals significantly easier.
I like the Wizards to make it there regardless. They will probably take on Cleveland for a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.
Washington can definitely give LeBron James and the Cavs a battle. I just don't know if they have enough firepower to get past them. Either way, Washington is a team nobody should sleep on.