Coming into this season, no one expected the Washington Wizards to have a shot at the playoffs, especially without their star PG John Wall, who is expected to miss the season after tearing his Achilles last year.
However, after defeating the 7th seeded Brooklyn Nets 113-107 on Saturday night at Capital One Arena, the Wizards(17-31) are 3.5 games out of the 8th and final spot(held by the Magic) for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, and four games behind the Nets in the standings.
Bradley Beal, who scored a game-high 34 points for the Wizards against Brooklyn, has been watching the standings, and he thinks his team can make the playoffs in the East.
“I love our chances(to make playoffs),” Beal said after the game.
Wizards Center Thomas Bryant agrees.
“I feel like we have a chance to compete for 8th,” Bryant said after notching a double-double(17 points, 10 rebounds) against the Nets on Saturday. “If we keep doing what we’re doing like we did today, we’ll be in a good spot.”
The Wizards have struggled with injuries this season. Bryant, Beal, Jordan McRae, and Rui Hachimura have all missed extended time with injuries, but the team is getting healthy, and like Bryant, backup point guard Ish Smith also believes this team can make a playoff run.
“We had a lot of injuries,” Smith said. “Then, we won some games when guys have been out, so guys have gained confidence through that. Now that we are getting everybody back, we’re finding a rhythm; we’re finding a flow.”
The Wizards can make a run for the playoffs. The back end of the Eastern Conference is not very strong, and Washington can score the basketball with no problem, and currently, they rank fourth in the league in points per game(115.6), but they have to pick things up defensively, where they rank last in the NBA in points allowed per contest(121.0).
They have 34 games left, so if Washington wants to make the playoffs, the time is now for this team to make a run.