With their biggest win of the series in game 4, the Washington Wizards complete a 4-0 sweep against the Toronto Raptors, beating them 125-94, with one team looking like it can’t wait to go home while the other is eager to see how good they really are.
The Wizards became the first team to sweep in the first round of a seven game series without home court advantage. A #5 seed, they’ll be now waiting for the outcome of the Hawks – Nets series. Right now Atlanta hold the 2-1 lead. The Wizards lost three of four to the Hawks this season, but they failed to beat the Raptors in the regular season and we saw what happened.
Toronto fell apart. There was talk of fighting for their pride, but there wasn’t a lot of fight left in them to give. A team that has just one way of winning games and can’t adjust all series long doesn’t deserve to on, not even win a single game. The Wizards opened with a 14-point lead in the first quarter and went from strength to strength. It didn’t feel like Toronto are fighting for their playoff survival.
But beyond the talk of spirit, mentality and toughness, there’s the simple thing called basketball and in the four game series, the Wizards were the better team at it almost consecutively from start to finish. John Wall did whatever he wanted, getting another double double of 14 points and 10 assists in just 25 minutes. Paul Pierce scored 14, Marcin Gortat dominated down low with 21 points and 11 boards while Bradley Beal led the way scoring 25.
The Raptors forgot how to defend, and at the end gave up. The Wizards shot 55.4% from the field in game 4; 57.7% from beyond the arc. The Raptors fell apart, and were two points shy of matching their franchise record for postseason defeat, which remains standing at 33 points in a loss to the Sixers in 2001. The team remains without success in 7-game series, their only series won being a best-of-five one. Yes, it’s been that long since the Raptors have been through to the semifinals.
The Wizards are moving forward. They made the conference semifinals last season and gave the Indiana Pacers a lot of problems. The Hawks are the favorites to go through in their current series, but are far from convincing as they were in the regular season. And we saw how much the Wizards care about what happened before the playoffs, riding a tidal wave of confidence, that might take them to the conference finals unless their next opponents figure them out.