The Washington Wizards have had a rough last three games, losing a back-to-back and barely holding on to defeat worst team in the league missing half the roster due to injury. They have the chance to set things right against their divisional rivals the Atlanta Hawks.
The Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament is one of the most interesting battles happening in the NBA right now. Only trailing the Western Conference outside of the Nuggets and the top two seeds in the East.
The Atlanta Hawks at the eight seed are only separated from the Indiana Pacers, currently at the 12 seed, by three and a half games. This causes every team currently in the Play-In spots to need to worry about every game as they are in danger of losing their ticket to the postseason.
No team should be as worried as the Washington Wizards as they currently hold the ten seed and are the closest to losing their postseason trip.
The Play-In seeding is exactly why the game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks is important.
The series between the Wizards and the Hawks didn’t start until very recently but has already been incredibly interesting. Both of these teams are battling for the best chance at making the playoffs. Any loss in this series could be backbreaking to the losing team while providing more cushioning for the victor.
If the Wizards win this first matchup of a brief two game miniseries, they will tie the Hawks and the Raptors for the eight seed. They would have a winning record against the Hawks so they would be given the tie breaker there, but since they’ve split their games with the Raptors so far, it could go to either one for the time being.
The last time these teams met was a masterclass from Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma while Kristaps Porzingis was out with an injury. The high scoring duo powered the Wizards to a win without their star big man.
This game has the possibility to be what breaks the season for the Washington Wizards, but it also has the potential to solidify their place in the Play-In Tournament and gain the protection of the double elimination bracket.