Wizards

Quick Links

Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards get glimpse into potential playoff series against Bucks

Real Marquee Matchup: Wizards get glimpse into potential playoff series against Bucks

Even though the Wizards are ninth in the Eastern Conference, therefore just one spot out of the playoff picture, the talk of them making the postseason should probably settle down a bit following their two disappointing losses to the Cavs and Bulls coming out of the All-Star break. But on Monday night, they will get a preview of what life would be like in the first round of the playoffs, if they were to make it.

The Wizards will host the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks, who clinched a playoff spot on Sunday night thanks to the Wizards' loss in Chicago. Yes, it is only Feb. 24 yet the Bucks have punched their ticket, already with 48 wins in only 56 games.

Milwaukee, in fact, is on pace to win 70 games this season. That would rank third all-time only behind the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors (73) and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72).

The Wizards just recently got obliterated by the Bucks, 151-131, and their best player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, didn't even play. Barring something unforeseen, he should be available on Monday.

Antetkounmpo appears on his way to a second consecutive MVP award, averaging an absurd 30 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game. The last two times he has played the Wizards, he has scored 43 points.

First round upsets are always rare in today's NBA with seven-game series, which are long enough to eliminate any real hope for parity. But the scale is tipped even more so in years like this, when the No. 1 seed is shaping up to be a historic juggernaut.

The playoffs, though, are still months away. And really, the Wizards have more pertinent problems to figure out. They need to bounce back from two frustrating losses against teams they should have beaten.

The Bucks offer an opportunity in the sense that an upset win would erase any bad feelings about the last two days. A victory would instantly become the signature win of the Wizards' season.

They have yet to beat anyone of Milwaukee's caliber, but they have pulled off some stunners. This season they have knocked off six teams with winning records including the Nuggets and Celtics, two of the top-five records in the NBA. A win over the Buckw would top them all.

There is also, though, the potential for a rough night for the Wizards. They need to at a minimum put up a better fight against Milwaukee than they did just weeks ago.

They could use some positive momentum now, but also some semblance of hope for a potential playoff series down the road. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

This date in Wizards history: Kobe Bryant scores 55 in last matchup with Michael Jordan

With the NBA season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wizards, or any team for that matter, are currently unable to make their mark on the NBA history books. 

So on this day, March 28th, we roll the clocks back 17 years to a major moment in not only Wizards history, but in NBA history as well. The final meeting between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. 

2003 was Jordan's second season in Washington and his last in a legendary 15-year career where he won six championships, five MVPs, 10 scoring titles and nine All-Defensive selections.

If anyone came close to being the next MJ, it was Bryant. By their final meeting, the 24-year-old prodigy already had three titles and more than enough reason to put on a show against his idol. 

Bryant went for 55 points against the Wizards, scoring 42 in the first half. He went 15-for-29 from the field and made 9-of-13 from three. Safe to say, Bryant was on a mission following a one-point loss to the Wizards earlier that season. 

He scored an inefficient 27 points on 8-21 shooting and was outplayed by a 40-year-old Jordan. According to Gilbert Arenas, Jordan told Bryant he would never fill his shoes following the loss. In true Bryant fashion, he held onto that moment, apparently didn't talk to his teammates for two weeks leading up to the rematch and took it all out on the Wizards. 

Jordan didn't have a bad game by any stretch. He still scored 23 points on 10-20 shooting to go along with four assists, but he was simply no match for Bryant. 

The Wizards would go on to finish 37-45 miss out on the playoffs and take Jarvis Hayes with the 10th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.

The Lakers went for the first run of four-straight titles since Bill Russell's Celtics but fell short in the Western Conference Semifinals to Tim Duncan and the Spurs. They'd return to the Finals the following year only to lose to the Pistons. After that, Shaquille O'Neal was traded to Miami and the Lakers didn't win a championship for another five years. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS:

Quick Links

Bradley Beal hits game-winning three to lift Wizards over Bucks in 2K simulation

Bradley Beal hits game-winning three to lift Wizards over Bucks in 2K simulation

In perhaps the most exciting 2K simulation yet, the Wizards were able to get their third straight win while getting revenge on the Bucks with a thrilling 80-79 win. 

Bradley Beal was the hero in this one, drilling a game-winning three with just 2.1 seconds left on the clock.

The Bucks, both real and virtual, might want to rethink how they guard Beal. He's torched them in every possible setting this season. He finished with 28 points and shot 12/28 from the field, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter alone. Stop me if you've heard this song before. 

A game of runs

This game was all over the place, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

The Bucks started the game with an 8-0 lead, which was then followed by an 11-2 run by Washington. Then in the second, Milwaukee went on 12-2 run, only to be answered with a 7-0 run by the Wizards thanks to Troy Brown Jr. 

The Wizards led by four points at the end of the first half, but then the Bucks used a 15-6 run in the third to build a lead going into the final frame. 

The fourth quarter featured four lead changes in just eight minutes of play, with the Bucks leading by five with 1:20 left in the game. That was, of course, until the Wizards went on an 11-5 run to end the game. 

A back-and-forth contest in the way you'd least expect, but at least it made for some entertaining hoops. 

Wizards overcome Giannis

In consecutive 2K simulation against the Wizards, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been an absolute monster. 

On Friday night, the reigning MVP went off for 38 points and 14 rebounds and shot 16-for-21 from the floor. Once again, he was impossible to keep out of the paint and the Wizards' front line, like every other team in the NBA, didn't have much of an answer for him. 

Still, the Wizards were able to overcome such a performance this time, mostly thanks to Eric Bledsoe.

The Bucks point guard had a terrible shooting night, going 2-12 from the field for a measly seven points. He even had a chance to redeem himself at the final buzzer, but his potential game-winning shot rolled right off the rim as the final buzzer sounded. 

Other parting thoughts

Before Beal hit the game-winner, Jerome Robinson had the highlight of the night with a no-look pass to Thomas Bryant for a dunk. Since the 2K version of Scott Brooks swapped Robinson for Brown in the starting lineup, both players have played really well in their new roles. 

Brown had 12 points in 14 minutes, while Robinson had 13 of his own to go along with a few impressive dunks. 

Something interesting happened during the second quarter. The 2K broadcast crew consisting of Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony and Chris Webber mentioned how there has always been a rift between Beal and teammate John Wall. Beal denied the idea in-game, which goes right along with how he's addressed the situation in real life. Just an interesting moment in the first half.

Bryant continues to be an exceptional shot-blocker in a video-game setting. He had several impressive swats against the Celtics earlier in the week, and he did so again Friday in Milwaukee. 

Now, winners of three straight, the 2K Wizards will have their work cut out for them Saturday as they'll play host to LeBron James and the Lakers at virtual Capital One Arena. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: