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Wizards let another one slip away, fall to fifth in Eastern Conference standings

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Today's Wake-Up Call takes a look into the Wizards' struggles against the Eastern Conference's elite teams, including last night's loss to the Toronto Raptors. Plus, Marcin Gortat's minutes are in a freefall.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

1. Raptors sweep season series with Wizards in 95-93 win

Good try, good effort. I guess.

The Wizards just don't seem to have enough against the NBA's best, especially the best in their own conference. Last night, Washington fought until the end, but couldn't pull out a win. Late-game issues, including head-scratching shot selection, unforced turnovers, and lack of ball movement plagued them down the stretch.

And don't even get me started on the final play call.

Here are your recaps in the loss:

Bullets Forever

Comcast SportsNet

Wiz of Awes

The Washington Post

2. Wizards fall to fifth in East after loss

Not only did Wednesday's loss send them a game further behind Toronto, but it also allowed Chicago and Cleveland to catch and pass the Wizards.

Chicago was tied with Washington going into last night and moved ahead simply by not playing last night. The Cavaliers steamrolled the Heat to improve to 33-21, which ties them with the Wizards record-wise. At the moment, the Cavaliers have the tiebreaker over the Wizards because they have a better record within the conference.

The good news is that Washington is guaranteed to be back up to the fourth seed by the end of the evening. The Cavaliers are in Chicago this evening to take on the Bulls. The winner will walk away with the third seed and the lead in the Central Division. The loser will fall behind the Wizards to the fifth seed, regardless of the outcome. The Bulls would be tied with the Wizards but Washington has the tiebreaker over the Chicago because of their head-to-head record. A Cavaliers loss would put Cleveland a half game behind Washington heading into the break.

Of course, all of that will change again the Wizards get back on the floor, because the Wizards' first game after the break is against the Cavaliers.

3. Wizards have a losing record since late December

Via Ben Standig of Comcast SportsNet:

  • On the season against teams with current winning percentages topping .600, the Wizards are 6-11. Wins over Chicago (2), Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio

  • Against teams with current winning percentages topping .500, the Wizards are 10-15

  • Against teams currently occupying a playoff spot, the Wizards are 10-17
  • Against teams not currently occupying a playoff spot, the Wizards are 23-4. If we eliminate games against Oklahoma City and New Orleans - both over .500 but out the playoffs in the tough West - the record is 21-2.

I'll just let that sit here and marinate for a while...

4. This is what John Wall thinks the Wizards need to add to the team

Via Jorge Castillo:

"I think somebody, another guy that can create off the bench," Wall said. "A guy that can create and put the ball on the floor and make plays for others. That’s probably the only thing we’re missing in the second unit. Andre’s [Miller] probably the best player that suits itself for creating and making plays for somebody in the second unit. I think sometimes we just get stagnant."

Well, there ya go, ladies and gents. A creator off the bench. Agree? Disagree? Are there more needs that this team needs to fill? Go wild in the comments.

5. Marcin Gortat's minutes are dropping considerably

The Polish big man has seen his minutes, especially in the fourth quarter, fall drastically in recent weeks. Wednesday night against Toronto was just another example of this, as he sat for the entire fourth quarter. That particularly may have been a matchup situation, as the Raptors went with a small lineup in the end, but Randy Wittman has not been shy about showing his frustrations with the big man's game recently by keeping him glued to the bench in the fourth quarter.

6. Paul Pierce is having non of Drake's nonsense

No. Just...no. Drake, the rapper and Toronto native, was courtside at the Wizards-Raptors game Wednesday and tried to play cute with Pierce, who was having no part of Drake's childish antics.

Amen, Mike Welch.

But this laugh, though:

Drake totally thought they were having a tickle war.