Washington heads to Miami to face the Heat on Wednesday evening in the last game of the regular season. Aside from going for a 50-win season, the Wizards have nothing to play for as they are currently locked into the fourth seed.
Miami, on the other hand, will be playing for their playoffs lives, as they need a win and a loss from either Chicago or Indiana to sneak into the postseason. Miami escaped a total disaster on Monday evening as they trailed Cleveland for most of the game but were able to get the win in overtime.
Aside from a 50-win season, the Wizards need to win this one to avoid a season sweep against Miami, who won the first three meetings this season, including Saturday’s game in Washington.
When: Wednesday, April 12th at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM and Radio App
Wizards: John Wall (Out, Rest), Bradley Beal (Out, Rest), Markieff Morris (Out, Rest), Ian Mahinmi (Out, Calf)
Heat: Luke Babbitt (Game Time Decision, Hip), Josh McRoberts (Game Time Decision, Foot), Dion Waiters (Out, Ankle), Justise Winslow (Out, Shoulder)
What to watch for
How many minutes will the starters get?
John Wall and Otto Porter rested Monday evening against the Pistons while Scott Brooks limited Gortat, Morris, and Beal’s minutes to 21, 27, and 33 respectively. Yes, a 50-win season would be a nice cherry on top to the season but Brooks had made it clear that being healthy heading into the postseason is the number one priority (and to be candid, this team had their chance to go for 50 against Miami on Saturday night but came up short). Expect Wall and Porter to sit this one out again while I’d be very surprised if the remaining three starters eclipse the 30-minute mark.
UPDATE: It looks like Porter and Gortat will get limited minutes, but that’s it.
John Wall, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris are OUT tonight vs #Heat.— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) April 12, 2017
Otto Porter Jr. and Marcin Gortat starting & playing limited mins
The last audition for Kelly Oubre Jr.
Over the past three weeks, Kelly Oubre has played himself into the playoff rotation with his tenacious defense and improved offensive play. Oubre has one more opportunity to work on his scoring as his minutes are likely to decrease come playoff time as the starters play more.
Oubre has been fantastic at attacking the hole and getting to the free-throw line over this stretch. However, his three-point shooting still needs some help as he’s shot just 27.5 percent from range since the All-Star break. It would be a very nice sign to see Oubre knock down a few threes before playoff time.
Everyone stay healthy
No need to explain this one.
Most Likely Wizards Killer: James Johnson
Johnson was on the Raptors when the Wizards swept them in the 2015 playoffs. Now, he needs to beat Washington just to have a shot at making the playoffs. Expect him to come out fired up.