The Washington Wizards might need some help from an unexpected ally if they want to make the playoffs.
We finally know who (and when) the Washington Wizards will be playing when they enter the bubble in Orlando. As the only Eastern Conference team invited to Orlando that is currently outside of the playoff picture, the Wizards have nothing to lose.
However, the Wizards only have eight games to make up some serious ground on either the Orlando Magic or the Brooklyn Nets, currently in 8th and 7th respectively.
Playing with reckless abandon certainly would have been more fun with the Latvian Laser out there, but Davis Bertans won’t be joining the squad in Orlando.
Fortunately, the Wizards get one head to head matchup with the Nets in Orlando so that they can make up some ground on one of the teams standing directly in their way. But one game isn’t enough to do everything. They’ll need some help.
As crazy as it sounds, one team that might be in the best position to help the Wizards is a team they’re currently chasing – the Orlando Magic.
How the Orlando Magic can help the Washington Wizards make the playoffs.
In their race for the playoffs, the Wizards are closest to the Magic (currently 5.5 games behind). But the Nets are just a hair better ahead of that. They have 6.0 games on the Wizards as things now stand.
Only eight games left, so a half-game isn’t nothing, but it’s not unreasonable to think the Magic could jump the Nets in the standings.
Especially when you consider the Magic and the Nets will play two games against each other in the bubble. Before the season went on hold, the Magic had beaten the Nets in each of their two meetings.
To their credit, the Nets aren’t an easy opponent, but they will be without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Orlando. So certainly depleted. And with three games against the two teams sitting behind them, they could slide. And quickly.
The Nets open their restart against the Magic, then the Wizards. An 0-2 start for the Nets (and a 2-0 start for the Wizards after wins vs. Phoenix and Orlando) could make things really interesting really quickly.
And things won’t get easier for Brooklyn. Their third and fourth games are vs. the Bucks and Celtics. An 0-4 start isn’t out of the question. Neither is going from depleted to depressed after a string of losses to open up the restart.
Another matchup (and hopeful loss) against the Magic in their penultimate game in the bubble could be the final stumble that would force the Nets to fall into a play-in playoff vs. the Wizards.
Of course, the Wizards would have to do some winning of their own while the Nets slide, and with their own schedule of formidable foes, it’s easier said than done. But if the Magic can go 2-0 vs. the Nets, and the Wizards can go 1-0 vs. the Nets, then the Wizards might have an easier time catching the boys from Brooklyn than they do catching the eight-seeded Magic.
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