For the Wizards, it’s simple, win and you will be in the play-in tournament. A loss in tonight’s game combined with a Chicago Bulls win against the Brooklyn Nets (of course that’s not likely), would mean the Wizards would only have one more chance to clinch a play-in spot or they could be eliminated from the clinching a play-in spot and their season would be over.
Fortunately for the Wizards they are playing against a battered Cleveland Cavaliers team that has little to nothing to play for. So far it is expected that Isaiah Hartenstein, Lamar Stevens, Darius Garland, and Cedi Osman will be out. Garland, in particular, has given the Wizards problems in the previous matchups.
The Wizards will need to get up early to put this game away, not only to eliminate the chance of an upset, but also because it will give their team an opportunity to rest for Sunday’s big game against the Charlotte Hornets. Winning tonight would still give the Wizards a chance to move up to potentially the 8th seed, with a little bit of help, and also winning that game on Sunday.
Just like the Cavaliers, the Wizards will also be without a starting guard, and that’s their leading scorer, Bradley Beal. So far the Wizards have lost two in a row without Beal, both against the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks.
Can the Wizards finally get over the hump without Beal? Can someone besides Russell Westbrook step up? Can this team finally punch their ticket to the play-in game? Let’s talk about this interesting matchup below.