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Wizards vs. Bucks preview: Washington faces potential playoff opponent as they travel to Milwaukee

NBA: Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

When: Tuesday, February 27 at 8 p.m.
Where: BMO Bradley Harris Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Win probability: Washington has a 47 percent chance of winning according to Kevin Broom’s Win Predictor and a 37 percent chance of winning according to FiveThirtyEight.

Injury Report

Wizards: John Wall (Out, Knee)

Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon (Out, Quadricep), Matthew Dellavedova (Out, Ankle), Mirza Teletovic (Out, Lung)

What to Watch for

What can Washington do to change the pace?

After beating the 76ers on Sunday to split their season series and help their odds of starting the playoffs at home, Washington will try to do the same thing in this game against the Bucks, another opponent the team could face in the first round.

FiveThirtyEight currently projects the Bucks will finish with the same record as the Wizards, but if things played out that way, Milwaukee would hold the tiebreaker thanks to head-to-head record. If Washington can flip this game, not only would that put them on a better win trajectory, but it would mean if the Wizards and Bucks do finish the season tied, the next tiebreaker will be each team’s record within the conference. Washington would have a three-game lead over Milwaukee in that department if they win Tuesday.

Washington will need to do a much better job on both ends of fast breaks to have a shot. The Bucks dominated the transition battle in both of their wins over Washington in January, as well as their 11 point loss to the Wizards in Milwaukee back in November. They’ve outscored Washington 53-15 on fast breaks over those games.

Milwaukee has been the best team in the league at preventing fast break points this season, so Washington’s struggles to score against them aren’t surprising. However, their success against Washington’s transition defense is a different matter. The Bucks are performing well above their season average, even though Washington has been the tenth-best team in the league at preventing fast break points.

The good news is Washington has been even better defending in transition in recent weeks. Over the last 12 games, they’ve been a top-five team at preventing fast break points. They’ll need that to keep that up if they want to steal another win in Milwaukee this season.

The elephant in the room

The Wizards host the Warriors on Wednesday in Washington. If the team plays a little flat this evening, their next game may have something to do with it.

A random moment in Wizards - Bucks history: The time Michael Jordan made Sam Cassell feel really small

There are maybe a half-dozen people on earth who can get away with doing this, but Michael Jordan is definitely one of them.