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Column: Washington Wizards on the rise after earning first playoff series win since '05

By Spencer Mayfield
On April 30, 2014

The Washington Wizards have won their first playoff series since 2005 after beating the Chicago Bulls in only five games. This series was a surprise because nobody knew what to expect from this team.
The Wizards dominated the series on the defensive end, especially in Game 4 and 5. Washington held Chicago to only 89 points in Game 4 and an impressive 69 points in Game 5.
On the offensive end the Wizards received contributions from what seemed like a different player each night. In Game 4, Trevor Ariza scored a team-high 30 points while Marcin Gortat added 17 points of his own. In Game 5, Nene dropped 20 points while also grabbing seven rebounds.
Washington has been successful because it is not just one guy that carries the team. Everyone has bought into the team-first approach, which is what makes them so successful. The Wizards are also not afraid to play with toughness. In a series where tempers flared in every game, John Wall and his teammates never backed down. The Wizards grabbed key offensive rebounds down the stretch of Game 5 that helped them kill the clock and close out Chicago.
Washington was able to beat the Bulls at their own game that is predicated around defense and rebounding. Wall and Bradley Beal provided energy for the Wizards and the rest of the team follows their relentless attitude.
Moving forward this team looks to be clicking at the right time. Wall is trying to make a name for himself as an elite point guard in the NBA and the playoffs is the right time to do that. Washington also has the right mix of youth and veteran experience. Ariza, Gortat and Nene provide experience for the lineup. As Wall and Beal continue to gain confidence, the Wizards can be a dangerous team capable of making a run.

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