Just so we're totally clear, the Wizards technically have four possible first-round playoff opponents: Indiana, Miami, Toronto or Chicago. They are currently the No. 6 seed, but can still slip to No. 7. Here's everything you need to know about the Wizards' playoff scenarios this week.
TO CLINCH NO. 6
The Wizards are currently one game ahead of Charlotte for the No. 6 seed. Both teams have two games left -- Washington plays Miami at home and Boston on the road, while Charlotte faces Atlanta on the road and Chicago at home. By virtue of last week's win, the Bobcats have the tiebreaker. Thus, here's the situation.
IF THE WIZARDS GO 2-0: They have the No. 6 seed.
IF THE WIZARDS GO 1-1: The Bobcats can gain the No. 6 seed by winning out.
IF THE WIZARDS GO 0-2: The Bobcats can gain the No. 6 seed by going 1-1.
The Bobcats cannot gain the No. 6 seed by going 0-2.
WHAT IF THEY ARE NO. 6?
They will face either Toronto or Chicago. Both teams are 47-33, but Toronto earns the tiebreaker by virtue of being a division winner. Chicago had the No. 3 seed, but surrendered it with Sunday's loss to the Knicks.
Both teams have two games remaining. Toronto faces Detroit on the road and closes with Milwaukee at home, which Chicago has Orlando at home, then Charlotte on the road.
IF THE RAPTORS GO 2-0: They have the No. 3 seed no matter what.
IF THE RAPTORS GO 1-1: The Bulls can steal back the No. 3 seed by going 2-0.
IF THE RAPTORS GO 0-2: The Bulls can steal back the No. 3 seed by going 1-1.
Given Toronto's final two opponents, I think they're going to end up with the No. 3 seed.
WHAT IF THEY ARE NO. 7?
They are likely facing Miami, even if Miami wins Monday. The Heat are half a game behind Indiana for the top seed, but Indiana has the tiebreaker due to conference record. The Pacers have just one game left: at Orlando on Wednesday. The only way that game means anything is if the Heat beat the Wizards Monday. If that happens, the two teams are tied, and Miami can steal back the No. 1 seed if it beats Philadelphia (a gimmie) and Indiana loses to Orlando.
There's a slight chance that happens, but I doubt it. Miami seems more concerned about easing Dwyane Wade in and resting LeBron James anyway.
After all this, Toronto still seems like the most likely opponent. That said, the Wizards should make things easy and win out, because the likely alternative is facing Miami.
- Jason Reid has a column pleading with fans to get excited about this team. Spoiler alert: I'll have a little thing trying to explain why there hasn't been as much energy about this team a little later.
- Ted Leonsis noted the acquisition of veterans and the team's "high level of professionalism" in his latest blog post. Given the Capitals' failure, I'm sure he's thrilled he at least has one team in the postseason.
- I'll be doing an AMA on Reddit on Wednesday, and Amin will be representing our site in Thursday's Eastern Conference AMA. Both are at 2 p.m.