After going seven years without reaching the playoffs, the Washington Wizards have now made it on two consecutive occasions. Following the Brooklyn Nets 111-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers last night, the Wizards officially clinched their spot in the postseason.
Their seeding is still a bit unknown, but it is becoming more and more clear that No. 5 is where they will finish the season. With eight games remaining on the schedule for Washington, they currently stand three games behind the No. 4 seed and five games above the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.
If everything holds up, the Wizards will enter the playoffs holding the same seed that they did in last years postseason. They could also potentially face the same team that they did in last years playoff run. The Chicago Bulls currently hold a one game lead on the fourth seed in the conference, but if the Toronto Raptors can catch up and grab that third seed, then we will see a rematch of last years first-round matchup.
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The Wizards have stumbled their way to this point. After starting off the season winning 29 of the first 42, they have since then lost 21 out of 34 and stand just eight games above .500. They also held the second seed in the East at one point and have been stuck at No. 5 for quite a while now.
Although the fifth seed is not the end of the world for Washington, the bigger concern is more about how the team has performed over the last two months. Star point guard John Wall has been one of the few players that hasn’t really had many struggles throughout this rough stretch, but other players have.
The talented young shooting guard Bradley Beal has not struggled with his game, but he has had trouble staying healthy. He has missed 18 games this year and has been battling a number of injuries throughout the season.
The Wizards relatively deep bench has kept them afloat, but consistency is going to have to improve in order for this team to make a deep run into May. They have struggled against teams in the upper echelon of the NBA and haven’t done such a great job away from home either, as they hold a 15-21 road record.
The Wizards have a ton of talent and they most definitely have the pieces to make it far. However, those pieces need to come together and work as a team in order for Washington to find success.