Faster than a John Wall fastbreak, the Washington Wizards have gone from floundering to nearly grabbing a playoff berth.
Of course, the season is far from over, but with Wednesday's road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Wizards (30-30) have won four in a row and seven of nine since the All-Star break. They've also reached .500 for the first time since 19-19 on Jan. 15. More importantly, they've gained in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Wizards, now tied with the Bulls, are 1/2 game back of the Pistons for the eighth and final playoff spot.
This won't become a daily scenario through the end of the season, but here's a quick snapshot of the playoff race.
Cleveland (42-17) and Toronto (40-19) have separated from the pack in a battle for the top two seeds. Here's where the rest of the East contenders stand including games behind the first place Cavaliers and record over last 10 games. The top eight teams make the playoffs while the top four receive homecourt advantage in the opening round.
3. Boston, 37-25, 6.5, 7-3
4. Miami, 34-26, 8.5, 6-4
5. Atlanta, 33-28, 10.0, 4-6
6. Charlotte, 32-28, 10.5, 8-2
7. Indiana, 33-29, 11.0, 5-5
8. Detroit, 31-30, 12.0, 4-6
9. Washington, 30-30, 12.5, 7-3
10. Chicago, 30-30, 12.5, 3-7
* The last 10 games represents how teams are faring of late, but the Bulls, losers of four straight, are definitely fading.
* Of Washington's remaining 22 games, 13 are on the road, the most of any team in the East. That includes four of the next five starting with Friday's matchup at Cleveland. Indiana and Detroit have the fewest road games (9) left. The Wizards still face Western Conference road swings of three and five games including matchups against Portland, Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers
* Like Jerry Seinfeld's character on the TV classic "Seinfeld," the Wizards are Even Steven across the board. 30-30 overall, 16-16 at home, 14-14 on the road.
* When it comes to tiebreakers, the Wizards have some work remaining.
Winning: Pistons (2-0; two games left, one home)
Lost: Celtics (4-0)
Losing: Hawks (0-1, three games left, two home), Hornets (1-2; Apr. 10 at home),
Tied and done: Heat (2-2)
Tied and in progress: Bulls (1-1; March 16, home), Pacers (1-1; March 5, home)