This is an unexpected break for the Wizards, who will have at least six days off before starting their second-round series. For Bradley Beal, he's a little bit shocked that they're not still competing with the Toronto Raptors.
"Would've never guessed it. I really thought it was going to be a hard series," said Beal of the four-game sweep that was completed at Verizon Center on Sunday. "I thought it was going to go six or seven just based off how we played against them in the regular season. I think once we got the first two under our belt, after that it seemed we had it in the bag."
Today will be an off day for the Wizards, who had a walk-through Tuesday and hard practice Wednesday. If the Atlanta Hawks are able to close out the Brooklyn Nets in Game 6 Friday, the Wizards will head south Saturday for a Sunday tip for their East semifinal. If the Nets win, the Wizards won't play again until next Tuesday.
If the opponent turns out to be the Hawks, who won three of four in the regular-season series, at least the Wizards have some confidence after solving the Raptors. They play a similar style, with three-point shooting power forwards Pat Patterson and Amir Johnson, and won their season series 3-0 vs. Washington.
"Their ability to space the floor just like Toronto," Beal said of Atlanta. "You have Mike Scott and Antic and (Paul) Millsap who are all like Pat Patterson. You got one three-point shooter leaving the game, you got another coming in. It's to our benefit a little bit because we've just played a team just like that. Atlanta probably moves the ball a little bit more. Overall on both ends of the floor it's pretty much the same team."
Beal's first playoff run ended in the semis last season, in six games to the Indiana Pacers. It also was the first for John Wall and coach Randy Wittman.
"We still have that bitter feeling from last year. We know we want to get back to the second round and get past it. We weren't too excited," he said of the Wizards' calm demeanor after overcoming Toronto. "You have to credit Paul (Pierce) because he's been there before. He's been the leader keeping us mellow as much as possible through our ups and downs. Also I think it's a maturity thing. ... We've all been here. We know how the playoffs are. We know how refs are going to call the game. We know how Witt is going to call the game. It's just a matter of us going out there sticking together."