May 5, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers guard George Hill (3) is guarded by Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) in game one of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Former Wildcats in the NBA: Are John Wall and the Wizards Legitimate Title Contenders?


After beating the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs, many people started to reanalyze this Washington Wizards teams as they headed into their first game against the number one team in the conference, the Indiana Pacers.

The Wizards haven’t won at Bankers Life Field House since 2007, that was a year before their last playoff appearance. But that all changed the night of May 5, 2014 with their 102-96 win against the Indiana Pacers

The Washington Wizards have two young stars, former Wildcat, John Wall and former enemy and Florida Gator, Bradley Beal. Both Wall and Beal had a strong game one for the Wizards, but the playoff experience in players, such as Nene, Gortat and Ariza, who is the only player on the Wizards team with an NBA Championship Ring, only help the Wizards in their run for the NBA Championship. Having teammates with experience helps the young duo keep their cool and if not, they can sit while the players who aren’t shaken up can play.

But the real question is, are they legitimate title contenders?

I say yes, if they continue playing the way they’re playing, yes they are. There are points in the game where the Wizards seem to slow their game down, allowing a lead to dwindle away from them, which can come back and bite them when playing a strong team like the Pacers, if they keep up the pace and play good defense, I can see them getting past the Pacers.

The Wizards have one of the best point guards in the league in John Wall. He has the speed and ball handling skills of a monster. John Wall scored 13 points along with 9 assists and 2 blocks for his night. But that’s not all Wall does for the Wizards, he also creates plays for Ariza and Beal to score the higher number of points, just as they did last night. Ariza scored 6 of 6 from three point land and grabbed 22 points, and Beal scored 25 points along with 7 assists.

Are they a long shot? Of course, but they’re clicking at just the right time.

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