Poll: Will Wizards Make Playoffs?

While five current lottery teams in the Western Conference will be given the opportunity to snatch the No. 8 seed from the Grizzlies when play resumes in Orlando this summer, only one current non-playoff team in the East has been invited to Disney. That team is the Wizards, the No. 9 seed in the conference when the season was suspended in March.

The Wizards weren’t exactly knocking on the door of a playoff spot before play was halted. At 24-40, Washington was 5.5 games behind the Magic for the eighth seed in the East and a full six games back of the seventh-seeded Nets. However, the NBA’s new 22-team format for the summer will give the Wizards at least an outside shot at a spot in the postseason.

Here’s what Washington will have to do to make the playoffs this summer:

  1. Pull to within four games of either Orlando or Brooklyn. This will mean outplaying one of those clubs by at least two games during the eight “seeding games.” In other words, if the Nets and Magic each go 3-5, the Wizards would need to go 5-3 to force a play-in tournament.
  2. If they force a play-in tournament, the Wizards would need to defeat the Nets or Magic twice without losing a game to earn the No. 8 seed in the East.

There are other scenarios in which the Wizards could make the postseason, but they’re next to impossible. For instance, if Washington goes 8-0 when play resumes and the Nets and Magic can’t muster more than a win or two, the Wizards could claim the No. 7 seed outright, or move up to No. 8 and get the double-elimination advantage in a play-in tournament. That’s a pipe dream though, especially given the schedule Washington will face this summer.

We don’t yet know exactly what the schedule for those eight seeding games will look like, but reports have indicated that the general plan is for teams to pick up where they left off in March, with games against bottom-eight clubs skipped.

For the Wizards, that could mean opening with games against the Celtics, Thunder, and Sixers before getting an opportunity to play the Nets. From there, Washington’s next three games may be again Boston (again), the Suns, and the Bucks. There are some winnable games in there, but given how the Wizards played in their first 64 games, expecting more than three or four victories is probably overly optimistic.

Still, anything could happen when play resumes. While the Wizards aren’t expecting John Wall back, it sounds like the Nets won’t have Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving active, and there’s no guarantee the Magic will have Jonathan Isaac or Al-Farouq Aminu available. If they can force a play-in tournament, the Wizards wouldn’t necessarily be massive underdogs to either of those teams.

What do you think? Is there any chance the Wizards make the postseason? If you believe in Washington, do you think they’ll knock out the Magic? Or will the Nets be the team to slip out of the postseason?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

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9 thoughts on “Poll: Will Wizards Make Playoffs?

    • simonal

      When the Wizards play average defense, they are one of the best teams in the league. It sounds crazy, but hear me out. They are the 6th best offensive team in the league (115.6 ppg)
      which is up there with the Bucks, Clippers, Rockets, and Mavericks. We only lost so many games because Isaiah Thomas was too much of a liability. Just imagine this team if Scott Brooks can get these guys to play defense. The Wizards are now 100% healthy (besides Wall not playing), and I expect Beal to average 40+ in the 8 games.

      Now I see the Nets falling to the 8th spot. The Nets and Magic play each other twice so if you think about, it is a win-win for the Wizards. The Wizards also beat the Nets every time they played them this season.

      My prediction is that the Wizards will fall within 4 games of the Nets, and win twice in a play-in tournament. I know we will most definitely lose to the Bucks in the playoffs, but the Wizards should win for Beal. Beal said he would lead his team into the playoffs after being snubbed from the All-Star team. This scenario gives him the best chance, and maybe next season, the NBA will take Wall & Beal seriously.

      • wagner13

        That’s easier said than done. Do you have evidence the Wizards can play even league average defense? Furthermore, their two victories against the Nets were by a combined 10 points. Needless to say, those games could go either way. I’m not counting Washington out, but I wouldn’t consider a playoff appearance to be the expectation

  1. Afk711

    Memphis and Orlando will win the 8 seeds if done properly. But we can all easily Silver fix the format to get Zion in the playoffs.

  2. hiflew

    I still don’t get why a team gets a chance at a play in tourney if they get within 4 games of a team. It just makes no sense to have to beat a team in a single game when you have already been 4 games better than them over an entire season. The #7 and #8 seeds earned their spots over the course of a season.

    • Sillivan

      3.5 games better is a lot

      If Memphis has 3.5 more wins, it’s unfair to take them out of playoffs

      The better poll would be

      Will Grizzlies make the playoffs?

  3. Freddie Morales

    as in Nets fan, I really hope that they do not make the playoffs so they can retain their first round pick. they don’t have Durant or Kyrie, they will not make it past the first round. so why not tank and keep picks

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