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John Wall Says Cavaliers Dodged Earning No. 1 Seed to Avoid Wizards Last Season

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC -  NOVEMBER 1: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on November 1, 2017 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Ned Dishman/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards attempted to fuel their burgeoning rivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers a bit more Friday. 

In advance of their clash at Capital One Arena on Friday night, John Wall told The Jump's Rachel Nichols and Paul Pierce he believes the reigning Eastern Conference champions purposefully played for the No. 2 seed so they could avoid a second-round matchup with the No. 4 Wizards. 

"I think they understand what we can bring to the table. If you look at last year, people might say they did or didn't, but I think they didn't want the No. 1 seed for a reason because we would have played them in the second round," Wall said. 

Wall's full remarks can be heard beginning at the 2:40 mark below: 

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

John Wall & Brad Beal join #TheJump, say the Cavs tanked the top seed last year to avoid Wiz early in the playoffs https://t.co/9NwDmlxPpv

Bradley Beal, who joined Wall for the sitdown, espoused the same opinion in May after the Boston Celtics bounced the Wizards from the playoffs in a thrilling seven-game Eastern Conference semifinal series. 

"Cleveland didn’t want to see us. I always said that," Beal told NBC Sports Washington's Chris Miller. "I felt like that's the reason they didn’t play us in the second round. They didn't want to see us in the second round. If they were going to go down, they were going to go down in the conference finals. They didn't want to go down in the second round."

The Cavaliers ultimately qualified for their third straight NBA Finals, but they fell short of their second straight title after running into a historically efficient Warriors team. 

Now five months removed from that failure, the Cavaliers are still searching for an identity following a sluggish 3-5 start to the season. 

The same can't be said of the Wizards, who have started the year 4-3 and will only get stronger with Markieff Morris set to return following sports hernia surgery. 

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