If Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster aren't just settling for three-point shots, it becomes that much easier for John Wall. He told them that before and after Friday's domination of the Indiana Pacers, and if it continues that could be the difference for the Wizards who won by 13 points despite 39% shooting.
And that shouldn't change just because they're playing the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
"We can score the ball. I told guys like Trevor and Martell and other guys, they didn't just shoot jump shots, they attacked the paint and played for other people," Wall said. "That's something we need at the time especially when I am the only one at times or Brad (Beal) or when those two guys are knocking down shots and penetrating it makes it easier."
A playoff spot for the Wizards all but mathematically assured but beating the Hawks would be another feather in the cap. It would give the Wizards their first series victory in seven years and keep them in the hunt for the No. 5 seed. The Hawks are on a five-game losing streak and averaging just 91 points per game in that stretch.
“I don’t so much stress finishing in the top six. I want us to finish playing like this and then all that stuff takes care of itself, where you finish," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "I don’t want them focusing on fifth, sixth, fourth. I want us to focus on doing what we did tonight and then let the chips fall where they may."
TV: The pregame show Wizards Central is on CSN at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tipoff is 8 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately follows the conclusion. Radio: 106.7 FM. 1500 AM.
Last game: Wizards (37-35) beat Indiana Pacers 91-78 on Friday; Hawks (31-40) lost vs. Portland Trail Blazers 100-85 on Thursday.
Last meeting: Wizards won 114-97 in Atlanta on Feb. 19, taking a 20-point lead in the second quarter that they almost squandered. Season series: Wizards lead 2-1.
Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Hawks –- PG Jeff Teague, SG Shelvin Mack, SF DeMarre Carroll, PF Paul Millsap, C Elton Brand.
X-factor: SF Kyle Korver has missed the last five games for Atlanta with back spasms and his status is unclear. ... Beal is playing through a hip pointer.
Around the bend: The Wizards will be off Sunday and travel for a game at the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday (CSN, 7).