Washington Wizards’ Playoff Hopes Depend on Crucial Final Stretch

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The Washington Wizards playoff chances are strong, having a stranglehold on the final play-in spot and sitting in sole possession of the 10th seed. With two games remaining, Washington needs to win one of their final two to book their ticket. While this is great news considering the squad was 15 games under .500 roughly six weeks ago, the Wizards are just two games back from the Charlotte Hornets for the eighth position.

Washington Wizards’ playoff hopes strong, can still acquire eighth seed

The absence of Bradley Beal in the past couple of games has hurt the Wizards’ playoff hopes to move up the standings. Beal strained his hamstring in the fourth quarter of Washington’s 125-124 OT win over the Indiana Pacers. Since then, Washington has lost back-to-back games on the road to the Atlanta Hawks by a combined five points. These losses have placed Washington two games behind the Charlotte Hornets with the Wizards needing some help down the stretch.

The Wizards will host the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte to end the season and must win both games to give itself the best chance at the eighth seed.

Washington holds the tiebreaker over the Indiana Pacers

Washington and Indiana had some titanic battles this season with the Wizards taking all three match-ups.

Indiana is missing some key players and has a difficult stretch run. They travel to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks who are guaranteed to finish inside the top three. The Bucks have a small chance to take the second seed but need Brooklyn to lose out. Luckily for Washington, Milwaukee has three games remaining and is likely to play their full starting contingent against Indiana before resting their squad over the last two games.

If the Pacers beat the Bucks, the Pacers will likely play an injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers before going to Tampa to take on the lottery-bound Toronto Raptors.

Charlotte owns the tiebreaker over Washington

On the flip side, the Hornets own the tiebreaker over the Wizards winning both clashes this season.

Key big man Miles Bridges will miss the Los Angeles Clippers game but may be available for the encounter with the New York Knicks. Bridges has missed the last four games under the NBA Health and Safety Protocols after battling COVID-19. He is yet to be cleared but if he returns, it’s a major boost for the Hornets who are missing Gordon Hayward.

Charlotte is struggling at the moment, winning just four of their last 10 games. Should they lose both games against the Clippers and Knicks, a showdown for the eighth spot is waiting.

Final Thoughts and Prediction for Wizards Playoff Seeding

For Wizards fans, the team to keep an eye on will be Charlotte. They will likely rest their starters against the Clippers and concentrate on beating the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t renowned for resting players plus New York is in a battle for homecourt advantage with Miami and Atlanta.

Indiana is in a much more difficult position, needing to win all three remaining games to avoid the 10th spot. Their next game against Milwaukee is likely to determine their position in the play-in.

Prediction: Indiana loses one of its final three games. Charlotte loses to the Clippers and Knicks, Washington beats the Cavaliers to set up an epic final game of the year, which will decided the Wizards’ playoff spot.

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