When: Sunday, April 9 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington, League Pass
WIZARDS— Kyle Kuzma, OUT (ankle); Bradley Beal, OUT (knee); Kristaps Porzingis, OUT (illness); Monte Morris, OUT (ankle); Deni Avdija, OUT (elbow)
ROCKETS— Jae’Sean Tate, QUESTIONABLE (knee)
One game remains for the Washington Wizards in a 2022-23 season that’s been equal parts predictable and frustrating.
The expectations were modest, yes. But it’s still never easy to stomach a mediocre campaign even when you know it’s coming and the ill-fated optimism completely fades.
Over the past month, Washington was forced to join the race to the bottom. It’s then only fitting to close out the year with a visit from one of the NBA’s premier tanking teams in the Houston Rockets.
One of four franchises to finish the season with at least 55 losses, the Rockets have long guaranteed themselves optimal odds in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes and will be in it to win it against the Wizards on Sunday. They’ve won three of their last four contests and are looking to build momentum for next season by featuring their full lineup of youngsters in Jalen Green, Jabari Smith Jr., Alperen Sengun, and Kevin Porter Jr.
The result against the Rockets could prove massive for Washington’s NBA draft lottery aspirations once the standings become final. The Wizards find themselves a game back of the Pacers and Magic for sixth-best odds after their confounding win against the Heat. With most teams trotting out their third-stringers, there’s still a puncher’s chance one of them closes the season with a win, which would open the door for more ping pong balls.
It’s also the last chance for some of the Wizards’ fringe players to show what they can do and prove their worth for next season.
We’re finally at the finish line, folks. Pat yourselves on the back for making it this far.