The Wizards are officially locked into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference for the upcoming NBA Playoffs. That became set in stone with the Toronto Raptors' win over the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon. The Wizards can technically finish with the same record as Toronto, but the third-place Raptors own the tiebreaker based on their 3-1 head-to-head record.
Washington will have home court advantage in the first round, but they may still want some help in the standings before the postseason begins. The Cleveland Cavaliers are currently the No. 1 seed and a half-game ahead of the Boston Celtics, who clinched a top three seed on Saturday night with their win over the Charlotte Hornets. If the playoffs began today, the Wizards would likely face the defending-champion Cavs in the second round, if both teams were to advance.
Arguments can be made either way on whether the Wizards should care if it is Cleveland or Boston in the top seed, but recent playoff results would suggest the Cavs are still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James has been to six straight finals, while this current current Celtics' team as constructed as not won a playoff series yet under head coach Brad Stevens. Seeing the Celtics overtake the Cavs in the top spot would not be the worst thing for the Wizards.
The playoff seeding sorting out like this raises the question of whether the Wizards should rest their players in either of their final two games. They still would like to reach 50 wins and in order to do that, they will have to win each of their last two games.
But 50 wins is not an achievement that will come with any sort of help in the standings. The Wizards are locked into where they are and all they can do is watch the rest of the East shake out as they also wait to hear of their first round opponent.
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