John Wall, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards host Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap and the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of their first round series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
GAME 2: WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. ATLANTA HAWKS
Series: Wizards lead 1-0
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN+ (coverage begins at 6 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Looking to go up 2-0
Hawks center Dwight Howard spoke from experience after Monday's practice that this series is far from being over. He has been on teams that erased series deficits, including the 2015 Rockets who came back from 3-1 to beat the Clippers and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Only 11 teams have accomplished the feat. Howard said "the sky is only falling for those who aren't actually in the series" and he's probably right.
But going down 2-0 to the Wizards would mean the Hawks would have to win four of six games to beat the Wizards and that seems like a sizable deficit to overcome. The Wizards have a chance to put a serious grip on this series in Game 2 before they head to Atlanta for Saturday's Game 3.
Hawks aim to match physical play
The Hawks have talked a lot since Game 1 about trying to match the physical tone the Wizards set in Game 1. Paul Millsap famously compared the Wizards' style to MMA. Now that the tone has been set, the Hawks will aim to properly respond. Point guard Dennis Schroder said on Monday that they will have to "give them the first punch and be ready." It will be interesting to see how they come out in the first quarter with that goal in mind.
The key matchups to watch will again be down low. Can Morris recreate the problems he gave Millsap in Game 1? The same should apply to Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard, as Gortat got the best of Howard in their first meeting.
The biggest takeaway from Game 1 for the Hawks from a strategic standpoint was their defense on the fastbreak. Coach Mike Budenholzer, Schroder, Howard and others spoke at Monday's practice about how they didn't do a good job of stopping the Wizards in transition, particularly in the second half. They felt that was the biggest reason why John Wall and Bradley Beal broke out offensively.
Budenholzer and others were pretty vague about the changes they needed to make, but Schroder - who will be tasked with stopping Wall - offered some specifics:
"We have to make adjustments. The four-man can't go to the offensive glass. He has to run back on defense as soon as it is out of our hands. The four-man has to go back and the one, two and three, as well. I think that's the biggest adjustment we've gotta do. Just keep John Wall in front of us. He did a great job. I think they played their best game of the season probably and we still only lost by seven. When we take away their transition offense, then we'll be in good shape."