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NBA Washington Wizards

5 Ways The Washington Wizards Can Guarantee A First-Round Win

5 Ways the Washington Wizards Can Guarantee a First-Round Win

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With just a handful of days left until the 2014 NBA Playoffs tip off, the matchups are becoming more and more clear. If things stay the same as they are now, the Washington Wizards will be the sixth seed in the East and will face the Toronto Raptors in round one. Here are five ways they can guarantee a first-round series win.

5. Win At Home

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5. Win At Home

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The Wizards are an inconsistent 21-19 at home this season. In the playoffs, home games becoming even more important, especially for the lower-seeded teams. Washington will open up on the road, so they could come back to D.C. with a deficit. They can win on the road, but they need to make the home games count.

4. Share The Basketball

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4. Share The Basketball

Washington Wizards
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When you get to the playoffs, simplifying things and sticking to what you do best is often your most effective course of action. The Wizards rank ninth in the NBA in assists per game (23.1). Sharing is caring.

3. Make The Freebies

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3. Make The Freebies

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The Wizards rank 25th in the NBA in free throw percentage (73.3 percent). How often in the playoffs have we seen games won and lost at the free throw line? Quite often. Washington will need to get better at the free throw in order to hang on when they have a late lead and get sent to the charity stripe.

2. Nene's Return

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2. Nene's Return

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Getting Nene Hilario back in the lineup is huge for the Wizards, literally and figuratively. He brings a post presence that you can’t find anywhere else on the roster and he’s just a big-time player. He can be trusted with the ball late and always comes up with a big play. Pair his scoring ability with Marcin Gortat’s rebounding, and you’ve got a dynamic duo.

1. John "All-Star" Wall

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1. John "All-Star" Wall

Washington Wizards
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John Wall finally made the NBA All-Star Game this year and for good reason. While he’s played well in the regular season, All-Stars become Hall-of-Famers in the postseason. He leads the team in every major category but blocks and steals, and they’ll need every bit of the superstar in order to win the series.