Point guard John Wall got his wish, as the Washington Wizards will face the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Now that the Washington Wizards know who their first-round opponent is in the NBA Playoffs, they can now focus on 50 wins. The Wizards will face the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs, a familiar foe in the regular season who they beat three times in four meetings.
Washington still has one more game left Wednesday night against the Miami Heat. At 49-32, the Wizards have a chance for their first 50-win season since 1978-79. As they face off Wednesday night, the game could very well have a NBA Playoffs feel to it.
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The Washington Wizards recently lost to the Heat 106-103 back on April 8. Center Hassan Whiteside lit the Wizards up for 30 points and 12 rebounds. Washington also had 19 turnovers in the game.
The Heat are currently playing for the their playoff lives. They are tied with the Chicago Bulls for the eighth playoff spot with a 40-41 record.
With that being said, the Wizards have a few injuries to monitor. Center Ian Mahinmi is nursing a calf injury, forward Otto Porter has a back injury and point guard John Wall has a quadriceps injury. With injuries on the horizon, the team’s approach to Wednesday night’s game will be interesting.
They could rest their starters like they did for Wall and Porter on Monday against the Detroit Pistons. But it would put their 50-win season in doubt.
With six spots clinched in the Eastern Conference, the final two spots are up for grabs in a wacky scenario. The Heat will need some magic to work in their favor to make the NBA Playoffs.
They need a victory over Washington and an Indiana Pacers loss to the Hawks or a Bulls loss to the Nets for the eighth seed. For the seventh seed, they’ll need a victory as well as both the Bulls and Pacers to lose.
Playoff Beal Engaged
Shooting guard Bradley Beal could have the last say in the Washington Wizards’ final game of the regular season. With both Wall and Porter out in Monday’s 105-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons, Beal stepped up in a big way.
He scored 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting, making three three-pointers as well. He also had three assists and two rebounds, but his hot shooting night shows Beal is ready for the playoffs regardless of who Washington plays.
Beal didn’t play particularly well against the Heat in his last appearance either. He had just 16 points in the Wizards’ loss back on April 8. Beal and Wall combined for 13 turnovers in the loss, as well. But he did record five assists, five rebounds and two steals.
With Mahinmi, Porter and Wall all questionable for Wednesday night’s game against Miami, fans should expect Beal to be engaged on offense more than ever. He had a number of thunderous dunks on the fast break and made some tough shots in the team’s victory over Detroit on April 10.
Beal hopes the team will allow him and forward Markieff Morris to play in the game as well. With 50 wins on the horizon, it would certainly be good for the team’s psyche to allow Beal and Morris to play and try to make history.