The Washington Wizards have held the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference for quite some time now. As of last night, they will officially end the season with that same fifth seed that they maintained of heading into last years postseason.
With one or two games remaining to this 2015 NBA regular season, the Toronto Raptors currently hold the fourth seed in the East just a half-game behind the Chicago Bulls. The Wizards would love for these standings to remain in place, because that would mean that Washington’s first round opponent would be Toronto rather then the Bulls.
Although the Wiz did handle Chicago in five games in the first round of last year’s playoffs, this Bulls team has a few more scoring punches with them. Besides Derrick Rose returning from injury, the team made an acquisition this past offseason that has really payed off for them.
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Veteran power forward Pau Gasol is a player that has battled through some tough injuries in his two years prior to joining Chicago. In the 2013 and 2014 regular season, he missed a combined 55 games. However, he has started 77 games this year and has performed better than ever.
At the age of 34, the 14-year veteran is putting up some of the best numbers of his career. The 18.5 point-per-game average is his best in four years, while he is also grabbing a career-high 11.8 rebounds and shooting his third-best percentage from the line.
However, this will likely not be the team that Washington will be facing in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals. The Toronto Raptors pose as that team, and we will delve more into them of and when it becomes official.
Tornto will travel to Boston tonight and head back home to take on the Charlotte Hornets in the season finale. They must win both games, and hope for the Atlanta Hawks to come through against the Bulls tomorrow night. However, the Hawks have been benching their starters for a few games now, and will probably continue to do so tomorrow night. With that being said, Toronto’s chances at the third seed aren’t looking so great right now.
Although the Wizards have nothing left to play for, they will still be participating in a big game tonight. The Indiana Pacers hold a half-game lead on the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final seed in the East, and would clinch a playoff berth with a win against Washington tonight.
A lot is on the line for Indiana tonight, while nothing is at steak for the Wiz. This should be interesting.