The Washington Wizards are headed to the 2017 NBA Playoffs and will be the No. 4 seed when the playoffs begin next week.
The Wizards' first-round opponent is still yet to be decided, but if they team is victorious, they will go on to face the winner of the No. 1 vs. No. 8 series, which is likely to be the Cavaliers.
On Monday night, prior to the Wizards' road game against the Pistons on TNT, Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley had an interesting theory about the Cavaliers' recent poor play and what that may mean about their playoff focus.
"I think they don't want to play the Wizards in the second round," Barkley said.
When prodded by Kenny Smith as to whether or not the Cavs are worried about that, Barkley doubled down.
RELATED: UPDATED PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION
"I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just giving you my personal opinion. This about this: If they lose tonight, more than likely Boston is going to get the No 2 seed. All they have to is stayed tied with the Celtics and they get the No. 1 seed and will play the Wizards in the second round."
"But think about this, after they lost yesterday, they are resting LeBron, Kyrie, and Tristan Thompson. It's a must win for Miami and the Cavs clearly don't care. It's my personal opinion that they would rather play the Raptors in the second round."
On top of that, Chuck also added this: "The only team in my opinion, who think they have the confidence to beat the Cavaliers is the Wizards."
Shaquille O'Neal, who joined Barkley on the set, was asked about teams purposely tanking at the end of seasons in order to avoid certain teams in the playoffs.
"Yeah, early in my career. We would talk about wanting to avoid Utah in the first round because they would pick and roll us to death."
It's an interesting thought for sure.
Teams do rest down the stretch. But as good as the Wizards have been this year, are the Cavaliers, really "afraid" of playing them?