Though you might have questioned his tact, Gortat wasn't wrong.
Otto Porter scored 17 points and sank 9 of 10 free throws for the Wizards. The biggest reason the Wizards finished with a top-four record in the Eastern Conference is that their stars stayed healthy. We have to have the same mentality and focus that we have here at home - we have a different edge about ourselves and we're more locked in. Every possession is critical.
Kerr still away from team • Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers fully expects Steve Kerr to find a solution to his debilitating health issues and be back on the bench without being forced out of coaching altogether because of complications from two back surgeries. Beal led the Wizards with 27 points, five rebounds, three steals and three blocks.
The Wizards played much better in Game 4 at Atlanta after being throttled in Game 3.
The Wizards' starting lineup, which played 467 more minutes than any other lineup in the regular season, has led the playoffs in minutes played. As it has been all series, the Wizards game plan with Schroder was to go under every pick and dare him to beat them with his jumper - and he nearly did. With a chance to end Game 5, they executed better than they had all playoffs. Atlanta will be looking to make adjustments going into Game 6, though, and one of them should be reducing Howard's minutes if he can't get back in transition.
That wasn't the case in Game 5 on Wednesday, though. That was the only realistic option at tying the game.
And they couldn't have done it without critical contributions from their bench.
At the 7:29 minute of the third period, Washington took their largest lead of the night and lead 69-58.
Though, coming off two home victories, the Hawks will have all the confidence heading into Game 5. However, the Hawks outscored Washington by 10 points in the fourth quarter to win 111-101 and even the series. The Hawks required a miraculous sequence, one that could only be put into motion through their action, and Wall knew it. As you see above, that's not what Atlanta did.
"They let us run the clock down", Wall said. "That kind of changed the game".
He did have an abbreviated spurt in the third quarter, otherwise he took too many ill-advised shots and his offense was just as bad as his defense. "And that's what we did tonight". We missed a couple of rebounds, we missed a couple of layups/shots. The series seemed to be going in that direction with Washington winning the first two games, but Atlanta held serve at home with two straight victories of their own.
To win this series, Millsap will have to continue playing at this All-Star level.
It wasn't a convincing performance in any way or in any category for the Wizards. It was another reminder that fourth-quarter defense can either sink their playoff hopes or thrust the team into the next round. Beal led the Wizards with 14 points, 11 in the first quarter.
"They were all ready to play much better", Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of his reserves. We made a lot of mistakes, and you give them credit, they forced us to make the mistakes. They led by as many as 33 points on the way to a 128-103 win on the road to complete the first-round sweep.
Stars who can carry an offense are the most important thing in today's National Basketball Association.
If he had an understandably hard time dealing with iso situations against Beal and Wall, Schroder still had an outstanding game. On Wednesday, the load was light enough to get the Wizards one step closer to the conference semifinals.