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Wizards eliminated from play-in game contention

The Atlanta Hawks won last night, and the Wizards’ offseason will start in a couple weeks.

Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards
Wes Unseld, Jr. will not get to coach a playoff team this season.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

It is official. The Washington Wizards are eliminated from postseason play for the 2021-22 NBA season. That happened last night when the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, 131-107.

The loss now allows the Wizards to look ahead to the NBA Draft Lottery, which will be on May 17.

It is not surprising that the Wizards are lottery-bound. After a 10-3 start to the season, they have since gone 23-40 and have been one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams.

The silver lining behind the disappointing season result is that the Wizards will have a chance to get a Top 10 pick in this season’s draft, and possibly better. And we have seen the Wizards’ three most recent first round draft picks: Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Rui Hachimura play major roles in recent weeks.

Now that Washington is out of playoff contention, is it time to sit Kristaps Porzingis as well? Tonight, Washington plays the Dallas Mavericks, his former team, so there is motivation for a “revenge game.” But after tonight, there is nothing to play for besides, strategically playing for draft position.