Through 65 games, NBA teams outside the playoffs have had to be at least three games behind the eighth seed in order to make the postseason. If not, they're done. Or at least that's what the last 20 years have told us.
No team since the 1999-00 Bucks have overcome a three-game deficit so late in the year and made the playoffs. Milwaukee won 10 of their final 13 games in 2000 to sneak into the playoffs and they eventually pushed the top-seeded Pacers to the brink in the first round.
44 teams have tried over the last two decades and all of them have failed.
The Wizards, along with five other teams outside the playoffs entering the NBA restart, were all facing those odds before play was suspended in March. Now, they each have a chance to make history.
Luckily for the Wizards, they don't have to make up the 5.5-game gap between them and the Magic in Disney World. They just have to draw within four games of the bottom seed to force a play-in scenario.
In such a case, Washington would play either the Magic or Nets in a two-game series to earn the right to play Milwaukee in the first round. The Wizards would have to win both games, while Brooklyn or Orlando would only have to win one.
Whether the Wizards can pull it off remains to be seen. They will be without Davis Bertans and now Bradley Beal is undecided on whether to play in Orlando. On the flip side, the Nets' roster has been depleted by injuries and players opting out and Washington sits six games behind them.
Few expected the Wizards to make the playoffs this season with John Wall out for the year. Not only do they have a chance to defy those individuals, but they can also make a little history in the process.
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