With Trevor Ariza averaging 15.6 points through five postseason games, he's helped make the Washington Wizards look like a legitimate force in the East.
This team has been looking for a scorer on the wing, and John Wall has needed another reliable target to drive and kick to. And Ariza stepped up big time in the first round, particularly in Game 4 with Nene Hilario suspended, when he dropped 30 points on 6-of-10 shooting from three.
"We're a smart enough group to understand that when one of your pieces goes down, you have to find ways and a will to win," Ariza told Jason Reid of The Washington Post after Game 4. "[Today] was my [day] to take on the scoring load."
Ariza was knocking down the shots that were finding him in the offense, and he was creating a few of his own.
He'll have to continue connecting from outside and capitalizing on his drives and slashes in the half court in the second round. Washington just doesn't have enough firepower off the bench.