By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 17, 2008
Like the sixth-place Washington Wizards, who entered yesterday's action leading the surging Philadelphia 76ers by one game and trailed the slumping Toronto Raptors by one game in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks know that every game is crucial.
Going into their game at New York last night, the Hawks were a half-game behind New Jersey in the battle for eighth place. The Hawks have not made the playoffs since the 1998-99 season, and believe they made an important move to change that when they acquired point guard Mike Bibby from Sacramento on Feb. 16.
However, Atlanta went into last night's game against the Knicks with a 5-10 record since the trade and could count only one victory over a team with a winning record: a 117-110 triumph at Golden State on Feb. 22.
For the Wizards, tonight's game against the Hawks will close a five-game homestand. The Wizards are 2-1 against the Hawks with wins in Atlanta (101-90 on Nov. 11 and 102-98 on Jan. 11) and a loss at Verizon Center (97-92 on Dec. 21).
After tonight, only one of Washington's next eight games will be at Verizon Center, where they are 20-14 after a 119-109 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. On the road, the Wizards are 13-18.
"We both know how important this game is," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said. "We've got some tough games coming up so this is a game we feel that we have to win."
UP NEXT Tonight vs. Atlanta7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Wednesday at Orlando7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Friday at Miami7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 UP NEXT Tonight vs. Atlanta7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Wednesday at Orlando7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Friday at Miami7:30 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980