ATLANTA -- There's an 82% chance that the Wizards' season will end in one of the next two games, based on the history of teams that lose Game 5 in a series that's tied at 2. Game 6 is Friday at Verizon Center and regardless of what happens this 82-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks will sting for a long time:
- Al Horford trucked everyone on that offensive rebound and putback for the game-winning shot when he ripped the ball from Nene and sent him to the floor. Paul Pierce also hit the deck. So did Paul Millsap. What does this tell everyone? A head has to roll onto the floor for the whistle to blow. The smaller and supposedly less physical Hawks realize that and these type of hustle plays are the difference.
- John Wall did a lot of good things, but it was evident in the second half that he couldn't finish when driving left. The Hawks sat Jeff Teague and put the bigger DeMarre Carroll on him and it worked. Wall could finish over a Teague. Carroll is five inches taller and more physical and a pretty solid defender at that.
- Drew Gooden had little impact off the bench in the last two games with scoring. Ramon Sessions, who started Game 4 for Wall, is 5-for-18 in his last two. The rotation has gotten tighter as Garrett Temple didn't get any time. Outside of Otto Porter's nine points on 3-for-13 shooting and 10 rebounds, not much is working.
- Marcin Gortat isn't on the floor on the final play because Nene is better if he gets caught on a small player on a switch. Both are about 6-11 and Gortat isn't comfortable in that role. Gortat's lateral movement isn't as good away from the rim which is the reason. Wall's initial defense on Dennis Schroder was excellent. But Horford is an All-Star and the Hawks are a 60-win team and the No. 1 seed in the East for a good reason. Horford made a winning play, just like Pierce did in Game 3 when he made the buzzer beater. Live with it.
- The team that wins the battle in rebounding usually wins the game. The Hawks had a 50-46 edge Wednesday. Only once, when the Hawks won 106-101 in Game 4, did the team on the short end prevail.