The last stretch of the season is becoming crucial for the Wizards game by game. After letting a solid opportunity slip away in a home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, the Wizards have now won two straight to take hold of the sixth seed in the Eastern conference playoffs.
It is imperative for the Wizards to finish strong so the team can open up the NBA playoffs as the sixth seed. With any kind of slip up, Washington risks playing the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat first round. The Wizards can get a taste of what a series vs. the Heat would be like when they face off this Monday night at the Verizon center.
Saturday nights game against the Bucks was an all around good team effort led by the scoring of Bradley Beal. Beal had 15 first half points and opened up the second half with 9 points in the third quarter. Beal finished the night with 26 points, which is his 20th game of the season with 20 or more points.
Trevor Ariza was very active on both ends of the floor from the beginning and he finished with 13 points. All five starters were in double figures scoring and Al Harrington was the sixth with a solid effort coming off the bench. Harrington recorded 12 points and was able to make plays all around the floor. His outside shooting opened up opportunities for others in the paint.
The Wizards were better shooting from the outside as they went 8-22 from the three-point line. In their previous two games, the three point shot was a nightmare.
Nene did not play due to a coach’s decision to get him rest. A good decision by coach Wittman since the team will need Nene’s presence for a playoff run. With Nene getting rest, Harrington, Gooden and even Otto Porter saw more minutes.
The Wizards have just two games left remaining on the season with one at home Monday and the other on the road in Boston Wednesday. Washington has taken advantage of their last two opportunities to keep up in the race for the sixth seed, but Monday provides a bigger challenge than what the Bucks can offer.
It is a must win for the Wizards vs. the Heat and a win against that caliber of team could do wonders for this team as they enter the playoffs. The Heat lost to the Atlanta Hawks last night as well so the Heat are also looking to find their groove before the chance at a three-peat. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards come out for a primetime game this coming Monday night.