The Washington Wizards will clash with the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs, which begins in Washington, D.C. at the Verizon Center.
The Washington Wizards open the 2017 NBA playoffs against Southeast Division rival Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference first-round matchup.
In addition, the NBA released the playoff schedule for all of the Game 1 games, which transpires this upcoming weekend. For the Wizards, they will host the Hawks on Sunday, April 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET on TNT in Game 1.
The news comes to the delight of Wizards’ John Wall, who preferred the Hawks as the team’s first-round opponent. Wall briefly addressed his preference with CSN Mid-Atlantic’s J. Michael:
"I’m still mad about the time I injured my hand. That’s still in the back of my mind even though they might have a different team."
The 2017 season series began in Atlanta where the Wizards fell to the Hawks in the season opener, beginning the path to a discouraging 2-8 start. However, the Wizards prevailed in the ensuing three games to conquer the season series 3-1.
The Wizards will not only attempt to advance past the Hawks in the first-round but also revenge against a Hawks team that ended the Wizards playoff run in the 2015 East Semifinals.
The 2015 playoff rematch featured the Wizards seizing a 2-1 series lead. However, the series sadly involved four-time All-Star John Wall injuring his left wrist in Game 1 that forced him to miss games two, three and four. The Wizards went on to lose the series 4-2 in six games.
This time around, the Wizards hold the all-important home-court advantage, which will come in handy for a Wizards team that finished the season with a 32-20 record at Verizon Center.
Since then, both the Hawks and Wizards rosters have gone through significant modifications. The Hawks don’t have four-time All-Star Al Horford, sharp-shooter Kyle Korver and point guard Jeff Teague. On the other side, the Wizards no longer have future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce or former head coach Randy Wittman.
Stay tuned in the next days as the rest of the 2017 NBA playoff schedule is announced and we deliver an in-depth preview of the Wizards’ first-round matchup against the Hawks.