The Washington Wizards are locked into the playoffs this season, but the East is a tough conference. Who would be the best and worst teams for the Wizards to face in the first round?
With their win against the Brooklyn Nets this past Friday night, the Washington Wizards have clinched a spot in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. The Eastern Conference is not an easy conference though, so let’s look at who the best and worst opponents for the Wizards would be.
If the season ended today, the first round playoff matchup for the Washington Wizards would be the Milwaukee Bucks, and that might actually be the worst case scenario for them.
Granted, the Bucks only have a 1-3 record this year against the Wizards, but they’re a team that can handle, and possibly beat Washington.
The Bucks have really started to pull things together lately, and that’s been lead by “The Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who’s averaging 23.1 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game while shooting 52.5%.
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So far in March, the Bucks are top-10 in offense and defense and have an 11-4 record this month. While the Wizards would be the favorite in that matchup, the last team they want to face is a team on a hot streak like Milwaukee.
The Wizards defense has been slipping recently, and the Bucks are full of great scorers. Matthew Dellavedova is an excellent outside scorer, and he along with Malcolm Brogdon would certainly keep John Wall and Bradley Beal busy.
However, the best case scenario for the Wizards would be if they faced the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers have a similar problem to the Wizards: a lack of depth, and that works to the Wizards advantage because that’s not a weakness the Pacers can easily exploit.
Plus, the Pacers offense just isn’t good enough to cause major issues for the Wizards defense. Indiana typically seems to go with the “give Paul George the ball and see what happens” strategy, and Porter and Morris should be able to handle that, if not shut it down entirely.
Outside of George, the Wizards have an advantage in every matchup. Jeff Teague is no difficult match for Wall, Myles Turner shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for Marcin Gortat or even Ian Mahinmi, and whatever combo of C.J. Miles/Rodney Stuckey/whomever the Pacers go with at shooting guard will be no match for Bradley Beal.
If the Wizards are fortunate enough to go up against the Pacers in the first round, they should make short work of them. Here’s hoping that happens.