Matchup: Washington Wizards (37-40) vs. Brooklyn Nets (21-56)
When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (TV: CSN, CSNmidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra)
Season series: The Wizards won the only previous meeting, 111-96 on Dec. 26 in Brooklyn behind 25 points from Marcin Gortat.
What to know
Wizards potpourri: Ernie Grunfeld staying? What went wrong this season? I touched on those topics and more on ESPN 980's "Two-point lead" podcast with Scott Jackson and Nick Ashooh. Yahoo's Michael Lee also joined the discussion and offered his thoughts on whether the Kevin Durant-to-DC plan was unwise and the handling of Kelly Oubre.
Playoff picture: Until the fat lady sings, the Wizards are still alive for a postseason berth. Of course, that sound you hear is her warming up. Washington enters Wednesday 3.5 games back of Detroit (41-37) for the eighth and final playoff spot. The Wizards have an extra game remaining and the tiebreaker. With a win over the Nets Wednesday plus a Pistons loss at Orlando and a Washington victory over Detroit Friday at Verizon Center, the home team could enter the weekend 1.5 games back with three remaining. There's your hope.
Net effect: One thing working in Washington's favor is that little is working for Brooklyn these days. The Nets have lost five straight and will play the remainder of the season without frontcourt standouts Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. The margin for each defeat: 11, 34, 20, 14, 19. Two big men with local ties -- former Georgetown center Henry Sims and D.C. native Thomas Robinson -- were among five Nets to score in double figures in Sunday's 106-87 home loss to the Pelicans.
John Wall knows overlooking a seemingly overmatched team has gotten the Wizards in trouble before.
"See, that's our problem, the All-Star said at Tuesday's practice. "When we see certain teams like in Sacramento we knew Rondo and DeMarcus were going to play. They were going to be good. We feel like those are the trap games... Those are the trap games if you think you're going to walk on the court and win. Those teams are not playing for nothing but certain guys are trying to get a contract, trying to show people they can play in this league for the other 29 games. They're going to go out there and compete as hard as they can. We got to go out and do the same thing. "
Washington plays at Brooklyn on April 11 in its penultimate regular season game.