Wall's Kentucky Derby days are done with Wizards in playoffs

Wall's Kentucky Derby days are done with Wizards in playoffs
May 3, 2014, 4:30 pm
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(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Normally at this time of year, John Wall does not find himself still in town. The Wizards' success has altered those plans

"Usually I'd be at the Kentucky Derby or at home with family," said the former University of Kentucky star and North Carolina native.

That's different this May and he's not at all complaining.

"Happy to be in the playoffs," the Wizards point guard said following Saturday's practice. "I think it's more important to be playing the sport I love to play in. I did [the Kentucky Derby] two or three times. That's over for me for right now."

The right now is about staying sharp for the second round of the postseason, though the future opponent remains a mystery. The Wizards will play the winner of Saturday's Game 7 between the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks.

"It's been great. Just getting rest, making sure you're getting treatment. Staying ready, getting shots up, working on my game," Wall said of the down time between games. "Just enjoying time off. We'll find out tonight who we play and then prepare for that tomorrow."

Washington closed out its first round series against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. The second round series opens on Monday in either Indianapolis or Washington if the eighth-seeded Hawks defeat the Eastern Conference regular season champion Pacers.

[RELATED: Who ya got? Why to root for or against the Pacers or Hawks]

Wall and Martell Webster plan to watch Game 7 and take advantage of the scouting opportunity.

"It's big," Webster said. "We've been able to keep track of the entire series. The scouting has started."

From Wall's perspective, the Wizards improved play began with an early season team meeting following a 2-7 start. The added element of consistency came after an overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on April 9 at the Verizon Center.

"We weren't a consistent team," Wall said. I think down the stretch, after we lost to Charlotte, we knew we needed to play the right way and what we needed to do to keep our seeding to get a good spot in the playoffs. We did that and luckily it's translated into the playoffs right now."

Since that Charlotte loss, the Wizards are 8-1. Nobody is complaining about that record.

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