Hawks vs. Wizards Game 3 Preview & Prediction

The Washington Wizards will be without superstar point guard John Wall once again on Saturday for a pivotal Game 3 in D.C against the Atlanta Hawks. Wall is still in significant pain after suffering five non-displaced fractures in his left wrist and hand, and that pain is enough to keep him off the court for now.

With Wall out, today's game takes on a completely different tone. Here's our preview of today's HUGE game at the Verizon Center.

Projected Starting Lineups

(All stats based on playoff performance only)

(1) Atlanta Hawks

G Jeff Teague – 13.1 ppg, 7.8 apg

G Kyle Korver – 14.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg

F DeMarre Carroll – 18.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg

F Paul Millsap – 15.1 ppg, 10.1 rpg

C Al Horford– 15.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg

(5) Washington Wizards

G Ramon Sessions – 8.7 ppg, 1.8 apg

G Bradley Beal – 21.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.0 apg

F Paul Pierce – 16.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

F Nene Hilario – 6.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg

C Marcin Gortat – 15.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg

What to watch for:

Who will pick up the passing slack for Washington?

The Wizards will miss John Wall's scoring ability in Game 3, but it's his wizardry as a passer which will likely make his health concerns a make-or-break deal for Washington. With Wall sidelined in Game 2, the Wizards were outassisted 30-21 by the Hawks and lapsed into ineffective iso plays on multiple occasions.

No one is going to replace Wall's 12.6 dimes straightaway, but the only way Washington survives without him is by banding together and someone like Ramon Sessions or Bradley Beal doing their very best Wall impersonation.

Prediction: Hawks win 103-93

There are other factors at play here other than Wall, but you can't discount just how integral he is to Washington's hopes. With him out, this is a perfect time for Atlanta to reassert themselves as the class of the East, and they should be able to do that and steal back home-court advantage in the series.

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