Beef between Paul Millsap and Wizards won't end anytime soon

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 18, 2017

At one point during his undressing of the Hawks to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, Wall pointed toward the floor while the crowd bellowed.

John Wall was absolutely spectacular in the game, setting a new playoff career high with 32 points, and he added 14 assists, four rebounds and a chasedown block for the ages.

Atlanta forward Paul Millsap got a taste Sunday of what the Washington Wizards have planned for him in their first-round playoff series.

As Bradley Beal said after the opening battle against Atlanta, the name of the game is to be the first to win four, and the Wizards took that initial step by defeating the Hawks 114-107 at the Verizon Center on Sunday afternoon. Morris also added 21 points and seven rebounds in his National Basketball Association playoff debut.

As for the 15 points and assists on almost every play in the third quarter, Wall just said he was defending his house.

"John can take over games, he can take over quarters, he can take over plays", head coach Scott Brooks said.

In 31 losses he played in, Morris shot 32.1% on 3-pointers and only 42.3% overall.

Washington outscored the Hawks by 7 points and won the first game of the series. I could go on demonstrating this trend with every other player that appeared for the Hawks in this game. "I think he did a great job of guarding Millsap down the stretch and throughout the course of the game".

PORTER TIME: Porter improved his 3-point shooting to a career-best 43.4 per cent even as opponents started keying on his shot. "I'm knocking down shots, and I was just being aggressive", he said.

Atlanta has the inside-out combo of Howard, power forward Paul Millsap and point guard Dennis Schroder to cause problems.

The Wizards caught a break with how the regular season wrapped up, in that they won't have to face the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers until the conference finals, if both teams make it that far. "Usually the aggressor is rewarded".

"You should tell him that I got hit harder than he did", he said. Adam Eaton continued his hot start to the season, going 3 for 5 with a double and a pair of runs, and Anthony Rendon had his third good game in a row after an unimpressive start to the season, going 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI and a run. Marcin Gortat had a nice double-double of 14 points with 10 rebounds while Otto Porter Jr. chipped in with 10 points as the Wizards shot 45 percent from the field as a team.

HAWKS LINEUP: Rookie Taurean Prince will remain a starter in the playoffs after getting limited minutes for much of the season. Center Dwight Howard had 14 rebounds but just seven points for the Hawks, who dominated inside and on the boards early but couldn't contain the Wizards.

Twice when Wall stepped to the free-throw line, fans serenaded him with chants of "M-V-P". Despite teammate Brandon Jennings' Players' Tribune essay making the case for Wall as MVP, Washington's four-time All-Star broke it down as Russell Westbrook against James Harden, with Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and himself in the next tier.

"When we first got him I was excited". Wall made 12 of his 24 shots, went ideal at the free throw line (6/6), and hit two 3-pointers.

"He just played basketball", Budenolzer said. His defense and versatility has been key to Toronto's playoff success in the past and that shouldn't change this time around.

"This is my house", Wall said then and later. "He just brings a toughness, an edge to our team that we need".

Washington's big men, particularly Markieff Morris, set the tempo by letting their presence known inside, not allowing the Hawks to get easy baskets, even if it did result in a few fouls and a 22 free throw disparity.

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