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NBA Standings: Wizards magic number still at one

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In today's Wake-Up Call we take a look at what the Wizards need to do to clinch a playoff berth, the most Wizards possession of the season, and a couple of looks at how bad things have gotten for the team.

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1. Wizards only one win away from clinching playoff spot

Even though the Wizards lost on Sunday afternoon to the Rockets, Washington is still right on the doorstep for clinching a playoff berth. Their magic number to clinch is one, which they should hopefully be able to accomplish with ease, but stranger things have happened:

Even though the Wizards don't play again until Wednesday, they can't just wait for the teams at the bottom of the East to lose. The Wizards would need both the Pacers and Nets to lose before Wednesday's game, but the only game they play between now and then is against each other, so they won't be able to back into a playoff spot just yet. UPDATE: Not the case, according to Jorge Castillo.

2. Was this the most Wizards possession of the season?

We're not sure it's possible for there to be a possession that sums up everything you need to know about this season for the Wizards:

Let's review:

  • John Wall turning a messy offensive possession into something productive? Check.
  • John Wall doing 85 percent of the work? Check.
  • John Wall making a play that 90 percent of the NBA despite little to no help from his teammates? Check.
  • Otto Porter making a smart, under-appreciated move to complement Wall's play? Check.
  • Good results in spite of a messy process? Checkmate.

3. Profile of a struggling team

Michael Lee's piece on the Wizards after Sunday's loss was as good as it was depressing.

4. This seems like a problem

From CSN Washington:

Then there was this: Out of a timeout, John Wall delivers a pass in the high post to Marcin Gortat. Problem with that was, Gortat wasn't expecting it. It was one of seven giveaways credited to Wall, including an open-court pass that really was the fault of Paul Pierce who appeared a step slow.

"Just not listening to what the plays were," said Wall, who had game-highs of 25 points, 12 assists and four steals, when asked about the miscommunication with Gortat. "People forgetting the plays. As a group we didn't execute and we had careless turnovers coming out of timeouts when we thought people knew the plays and we didn't.

"It's terrible. It's already bad if you don't know the plays that you've been running for the whole season when you're calling out sets. But during timeouts when coach draws it up on the board right then, if you don't understand what it is you can definitely ask before you get on the court. That's frustrating. That's a lack of focus that's hurting our team."

5. How to fix Bradley Beal's issues:

Mike Prada had an interesting tweet this morning:

Thankfully, there's a pretty simple and easy way for Bradley Beal to get more confidence in his body: Put him in SPN Magazine's next Body Issue. John Wall hasn't missed an All Star Game since he appeared in it back in 2013.