On the last Sunday of April, the Washington Wizards finished their first-round series with the Toronto Raptors in dominating fashion, sweeping the NBA’s lone Canadian franchise with ease. Their performance, boasting an emerging superstar in John Wall and a future Hall-of-Famer in Paul Pierce, forced the critics to re-evaluate their predictions on just how far the Wizards could go. And in their second-round matchup against the No. 1 seed Atlanta Hawks, so far, so good.
The Wizards split the first two games in Atlanta, taking care of business on their end, which came at a cost. In Game 1, Wall injured his left wrist and hand in the second quarter driving to the basket, and it was announced he has five non-displaced fractures. As a result, Washington’s outlook the rest of the way suddenly has become ominous.
“It is definitely difficult for the team, but I am sure it is even more devastating for John,” Pierce said according to ESPN.com. “I’m more hurt for him than anything because I know how badly he wants to be out there.”
Despite this, Wizards tickets are still seeing a lot of heavy activity, as Game 3 at the Verizon features an average ticket price of $150.36, with a get-in price of $36. Additionally, there’s also convenient Washington DC parking available through ParkWhiz.com that makes everything easier for fans in finding a spot outside the arena.
In the five playoff games Wall has played thus far, the former No. 1 draft pick was averaging 17.4 points and a career-playoff best 12.6 assists. Wall was taking the next leap in his career, playing in his top form t when it mattered most, and unfortunately for the foreseeable future, his status for the rest of the postseason is uncertain.
Although the Wizards lost Game 2 and Wall’s injury has dampened their playoff goals, this series is far from over. Reserve guard Ramon Sessions stepped into the starting lineup last game and helped out mightily, scoring 21 points and dishing out four assists in 40 minutes.
In fact, the Wizards were down by just five points in Game 2, 88-83 with less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter before the Hawks strung a couple of baskets together to go-up by double-digits. In that stretch, Pero Antic converted a three at the five minute mark, increasing the Hawks lead to ten, 93-83, in which they would coast to the finish line.
In Wall’s absence, Bradley Beal will also be expected to step up. In his third NBA season, and also playing in his second playoffs, the 21-year-old former Florida Gator is averaging 21.8 points, 4 assists and 5.5 rebounds.
The Hawks, meanwhile, breathed a sigh of relief after evening up the series. Attaining the top seed in the East, high expectations were certainly labelled upon their roster this postseason, and it’s certainly evident in ticket sales. Hawks tickets have been a hot item, even as they now shift to our nation’s capital for the continuation of the series.