The key to getting out the second round for the Wizards is to keep everything the same, and that includes blocking out the sudden praise and not carrying themselves as favorites. Even their 20-year-old sharpshooter knows that much.
"Do the same thing. We've got to ignore it," said Bradley Beal, in his second season and his first postseason. "People are going to be jumping on your bandwagon, giving your praises, saying you can do this, you're capable of making it far. We've got to keep our core together. ... We can't really focus on the media and the outside people telling us how great we are. That's the last thing we need. ... We still haven't accomplished anything."
The Wizards only won seven road games last season when they finished 29-53. This season half of their wins came away from Verizon Center as they finished 44-38.
"Its backwards from last year. I don't know what it is. I can't put my finger on it to explain why it is we have pretty good success on the road," Beal said. "Whenever you got a crowd against you always just want to try to make them be quiet. We do a great job ob blocking that out. I think when we get home we get a little too excited. We try to impress them, prove to them as much as we can and make them happy. We got to just focus on trying to win the game."
This doesn't exactly sound like a young team that's afraid of the moment when its two youngest players, Beal and John Wall, 23, excel away from Verizon Center. That's the toughest part about winning in the playoffs.
Maybe it's time to bury the "inexperienced" narrative and move on. Nothing to see here.