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Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

Wizards drop to precarious position in close Eastern Conference playoff race

As if they needed a reminder, the Wizards saw firsthand on Wednesday night just how much can change in a short period of time in the Eastern Conference playoff race where just two games separate the No. 3 and No. 6 teams.

That No. 6 team is now your Washington Wizards, who began the day in fourth place but lost their first game in four days on the same night both the Cavs and Sixers won theirs. 

The Wizards lost to the Spurs on Wednesday and managed only 90 points, their fewest since Jan. 22. It was a lackluster performance in a game the Wizards needed to treat with urgency. 

The Spurs sure did.

"We've gotta have a better mentality coming into games," guard Bradley Beal said. "The Spurs were fighting for playoff seeding just like we were."

The Wizards have now lost six of their last 10, yet all those games have come against teams currently holding playoff spots. Considering John Wall remains out with a left knee injury, it's hard to fault them too much when they are staying afloat just fine in the big picture.

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The problem is that the closer they get to the end of the season, the more these losses are magnified. They amount to missed opportunities, some bigger than others.

That was not lost on Beal, who considered the alternative. If the Wizards had beaten the Spurs, they would be sitting in fourth, two spots higher, and just a game-and-a-half out of third.

"Every time we have a chance to move up, we take two steps back," Beal lamented.

The Wizards are in a high stakes part of the standings where plenty is in the balance. They are fighting for home-court advantage, something they would get in the third or fourth spots. And who they match up with will be paramount.

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By falling to sixth, the Wizards are currently in line to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though the Pacers and Sixers are also good teams, they don't have LeBron James. Avoiding him and the Cavs would be ideal for the Wizards.

Beal has even bigger worries than that. He noted after the loss in San Antonio that they could fall even further if they aren't careful. They are now just a game-and-a-half up on the seventh-place Heat. 

"We've gotta realize what's at stake, man. The way we're going, we could keep dropping and mess around and be eighth. We've gotta do whatever it takes to win," he said.

The Wizards should be fine if the previous two months are any indication. But Wednesday night was another example of how precarious things are for them this season in the tightly-packed Eastern Conference.

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Beal and Porter need to step up and so does the defense

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller broke down the Wizards' 0-2 deficit and how Bradley Beal and Otto Porter need to play better.

They went into the potential change in the starting lineup, why the Wizards are doing so poorly on defense and the historical odds the Wizards are now up against.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Drake calls Kelly Oubre a 'bum', Oubre doesn't take the bait

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USA TODAY Sports

Drake calls Kelly Oubre a 'bum', Oubre doesn't take the bait

One thing rapper Drake has been known for is being a very vocal sports fan, that always seems to make himself the center of attention.

He also seems to be a fan of just about any team that happens to be winning at the moment. 

He's been seen in everything from Kentucky gear at a basketball game, to Alabama and Texas A&M football apparel (seriously, just Google "Drake bandwagon fan" and take a look).

One team he's always seemed to stay loyal to though is his hometown Raptors. Especially when it comes to yelling at anyone he can on the other team.

First, it was John Wall having a back-and-forth with Drake on the court.

Now, it seems to be Kelly Oubre that gets to help Drake suck up more attention on social media. 

After C.J. Miles hit a three-pointer during the fourth quarter of Washington’s 130-119 loss Tuesday night, the cameras caught him doing what he just can't help himself from doing.

Oubre though, doesn't take it personally, even when it was pointed out to him postgame.

Maybe it's because Oubre wants to start his own fashion line, and hopes to have Drake help promote it.

Maybe it's because Oubre doesn't want to ever show up on a Drake diss track (even though he apparently deleted this tweet from a long time ago right after the game).

Or Maybe Oubre is just being the bigger man.

Either way, it's safe to say this trend will continue for Drake and whoever his next Wizards target is on the court.

Given Drake's history though, if the Wizards come back and win the series, will we see him in a Wall or Oubre jersey?

Considering all the bandwagons he's jumped on, it would surprise very few if it happened. 

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