After losing to the Bobcats Wednesday night, the Washington Wizards have dropped to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. To make things worse, the Miami Heat dropped to second place, setting up a Heat-Wizards first round match up. That would not be ideal.
Of course, there is a chance for the Wizards to regain the sixth seed, but the Bobcats and Wizards both have relatively soft schedules down the stretch. Washington would need to finish one game better than Charlotte, who should be favored in three of their last four games.
The Bobcats will be matched up against the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls to close out the season. The first three should be wins for Charlotte, at least on paper, but the ‘Cats will have a tough time with the Bulls, who are in their own heated race for third place in the East. With this schedule, I think the Bobcats will finish 3-1 down the stretch, 43-39 overall.
Washington will play against the Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Wizards should be favored in three of their final four games as well, against three of the worst teams in the NBA. But given Washington’s inability to take care of games they’re supposed to win, nothing is for certain. The game against Miami on Saturday night will, most likely, be the deciding factor. If Miami was comfortably in first place, they might have rested their starters, giving Washington a better shot at securing the win. But since they are in a battle with the Indiana Pacers, Miami will need every game they can get. The Wizards should also finish 3-1 down the stretch and tie the Bobcats with a 43-39 overall record. And since Washington blew last nights game vs. Charlotte, it will only be good enough for seventh place.
With just four games remaining in the regular season and the Bobcats owning the tiebreaker, the Wizards best hope for a somewhat favorable playoff match up is for the Heat to regain the number one seed from the Indiana Pacers, setting up a Pacers-Wizards first round series.