When: Tuesday, March 24 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington, League Pass
WIZARDS— Kyle Kuzma, OUT (ankle); Bradley Beal, OUT (knee)
SPURS— Devin Vassell, QUESTIONABLE (knee); Zach Collins, QUESTIONABLE (biceps); Jeremy Sochan, OUT (knee); Romeo Langford, OUT (adductor); Khem Birch, OUT (knee); Charles Bassey, OUT (patella)
The Washington Wizards are at a crossroads entering their Friday night tilt against the San Antonio Spurs.
With just nine games left on the schedule, the team sits 2.5 games out of the final play-in spot in the East. Facing a 19-54 Spurs side not too far removed from a 16-game losing streak should be a must-win contest to keep their postseason hopes alive.
At the same time, Washington is now sitting pretty with the sixth-best odds in the upcoming NBA Draft. That would give them a 9 percent chance at the franchise-altering opportunity to draft Victor Wembanyama and a better than 37 percent chance to jump into the top four. With the Orlando Magic’s latest wins over the Wizards and Knicks, the gap for the fifth-best odds has also been reduced to just 1.5 games.
The Wizards managed to end their 23-year losing-streak in San Antonio earlier this season. They get a chance to sweep the season series, which they haven’t done since before Tim Duncan was drafted. During that fateful contest in March of 1997, Chris Webber led the team in scoring with 24 while Rod Strickland added 16 points and 15 assists on the night.
Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma won’t be available for Washington, leaving the team very shorthanded in the scoring department. But with a Spurs team that seems to be rotating their players on a nightly basis, it might not be a problem.