The Wizards lost their final game of the regular season to the Magic 101-92 on Wednesday night. The loss ensured Washington will start the playoffs as the eighth seed facing the Raptors, even though they had a chance to move up in the standings if they had won.
The Bucks made it clear early in the night they were not going to be competitive against the 76ers. Milwaukee trailed 46-18 after the end of the first quarter and went on to lose by 35. Their inevitable loss opened the door for Washington to jump into the seventh spot, where they would have faced the injury-depleted Celtics in the first round.
Unfortunately, the Wizards, who were missing John Wall and Otto Porter, couldn’t take advantage of their opportunity to move up. The Magic jumped out to a nine point lead in the first eight minutes of the game and the Wizards were never able to mount a strong run of their own to take control of the game.
Bradley Beal played 36 minutes but went 4-of-15 from the field and finished with a measly 13 points. The rest of the starters didn’t fare much better. Tomas Satoransky played nearly 42 minutes but only finished with 13 points and 9 assists. Markieff Morris scored 15 points, but needed 15 shots to get there. Kelly Oubre finished with 9 points on 10 shots.
The Wizards were able to briefly take the lead for a few fleeting moments in the second half, but never led by more than two and crumbled over the final five minutes. Orlando finished the game on a 15-6 run to pick up their 25th win of the season.
If the Wizards have a switch, it better turn on soon
All season long, Washington has played like a team that’s been saving something for when it matters. Nothing embodies that more than losing to the Magic on the final night of the season when they had a chance to move up and take a significantly easier path to the Eastern Conference Finals.
If they’re right and they can go toe-to-toe with the best team in the East in the playoffs, more power to them. But if they’re wrong, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do about all their missed opportunities this season. It’s as simple as that at this point.
Bradley Beal finishes his marathon
There’s no question Beal’s regular season ended on a sour note with this game. It’s clear he was playing fatigued and it’s been clear for a few weeks he hasn’t quite been himself as the minutes have piled up. Still, he deserves a lot of credit for putting himself in a position where he could be overused this season.
Remember all the talk about how Beal was too fragile to be trusted with a max deal? Remember when it looked like he might have to play with a minutes restriction for the rest of his career? He just finished playing a full 82 game season and played the fourth-most minutes in the league this season. He only needed six more minutes to pass Khris Middleton and Andrew Wiggins and jump into second. Give Beal credit where it’s due for proving the doubters wrong.
- Devin Robinson, the Wizards’ lone two-way player, got his first playing time this season. He finished with 2 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 fouls in 13 minutes of action. Don’t you dare blame him for why the Wizards lost. He was a team-high +10 on the night and one of only three players who finished with a positive plus/minus on the night.
- Mike Scott left the game in the fourth quarter and Scott Brooks said after the game he’s being evaluated for a concussion.
- The Wizards’ leading scorer was Jodie Meeks, who scored 18 and made five threes. Watch out Toronto, Meeks is starting to heat up.
- The Magic’s leading scorer was Rodney Purvis, who finished with 16 points and 5 rebounds in 25 minutes. Rodney Purvis.
- Just to reiterate: The Wizards missed out on a chance to face Boston in the playoffs because they couldn’t stop Rodney Purvis.
- Rodney. Purvis.
Next up: The Wizards will face the Raptors in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. The time is TBD.