Wizards Playoff Scenarios

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Jeremy Hyman

April 16 Update

Things have gotten even more interesting after the Nets home loss to the Knicks tonight.

We enter the final day of the regular season with three potential seeds and three different potential matchups in the first round.

How the Wizards end up with 5th Seed

1. Win over Boston AND Nets lose to Cleveland

How the Wizards end up with 6th seed

1. Win over Boston AND Nets win over Cleveland

2. Lose to Boston AND Bobcats lose to Chicago

How the Wizards end up with 7th seed

1. Lose to Boston AND Bobcats win vs. Chicago

Who will the Wizards Play?

This is a tougher question to break down because there are more variables in play.

How we'll get #WizRaptors

1. Win over Boston, Nets win over Cleveland, Raptors Win in New York (Would be a 6-3 matchup)

2. Win over Boston, Nets lose to Cleveland, Raptors lose in New York AND Bulls win in Charlotte (Would be a 4-5 matchup)

3. Lose to Boston, Raptors win in New York AND Bulls win in Charlotte (Would be a 6-3 matchup)

How We'll get #WizBulls

1. Win over Boston, Nets win over Cleveland, Raptors lose in New York AND Bulls win in Charlotte (Would be 6-3 matchup)

2. Win over Boston, Nets lose to Cleveland, Raptors Win in New York (Would be 4-5 matchup)

3. Win over Boston, Nets lose to Cleveland, Raptors lose in New York AND Bulls lose in Charlotte (Would be 4-5 matchup)

4. Lose to Boston, Raptors lose in New York, Bulls win in Charlotte (Would be 6-3 matchup)

How We'll get #WizHeat

1. Lose to Boston, Bobcats win over Bulls

Hopefully that breaks down each potential scenario that we could see play out. It's hard to even predict what's most likely to happen, so let's just wait one more day and then we can make our playoff plans.

The games to watch:

Wizards @ Celtics 8pm

Bulls @ Bobcats 7pm

Nets @ Cavs 8pm

Raptors @ Knicks 8pm

If season ended today

1. Pacers vs. 8. Hawks (Locked)
2. Heat vs. 7. Bobcats
3. Raptors vs. 6. Wizards
4. Bulls vs. 5. Nets



April 15 Update

And it will come down to the final day of the regular season.

We could kind of see this coming for a while, but now it will officially take until the conclusion of games on Wednesday, the final day of the regular season, to determine who will play who and which teams will get which seeds. The first round matchup will be against either Toronto, Chicago, or Miami.

We'll try and make it as simple as possible for the Wizards scenarios....

If The Wizards win on Wednesday In Boston

The Wizards will finish with no worse than the six seed in the East, no matter what else happens. There is still the outside chance that the Nets drop both their remaining games, (Tues vs. NYK & Weds @ CLE), but those odds are slim and in all likelihood a win on Wednesday will lock up the six seed for the Wizards.

Who will they play? That also depends on the outcomes of two more games. The Raptors will enter Wednesday as the three seed as they and the Chicago Bulls will be tied, but the Raps hold the tie-breaker. If the Raptors win in New York on Wednesday, they are the three seed. But, if the Raps slip up and fall to the Knicks and the Bulls win in Charlotte, the Bulls would become the three seed and the Wizards would head to Chicago in round 1.

If the Wizards Lose on Wednesday

After Charlotte won on a game-winner on Monday night in Atlanta, they gave themselves a chance to still pass the Wizards on the last day of the season. If the Wizards lose on Wednesday and the Bobcats beat the Bulls, the Cats would jump into the six spot and the Wiz would fall to seven. If the Bobcats lose on Wednesday, the result of the Wizards game is meaningless and they will be the three seed.

Who will they play? If the Cats win and the Wizards lose, the Wiz are heading to South Beach for a first round date with the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.

So, it's win and take the six seed or lose and potentially fall to seven and face the champs. That's the situation we get heading into the final game of the season.

How can we play Toronto

Win on Wednesday or Bobcats Lose and Raptors win or Bulls Lose

How Can We Play Chicago

Win on Wednesday and/or Bobcats lose and Raptors lose and Bulls win

How Can We Play Miami

Lose on Wednesday and Bobcats win

If season ended today

1. Pacers vs. 8. Hawks (Locked)
2. Heat vs. 7. Bobcats
3. Raptors vs. 6. Wizards
4. Bulls vs. 5. Nets

Wizards

Weds: @ Boston

Bobcats

Weds: vs. Chicago

Raptors

Weds: @ New York

Bulls

Weds: @ Charlotte



April 14 Update

Two games remain for the majority of the teams still jockeying for seeding in the Eastern Conference and we still can't lock anything down other than the Hawks in the eight seed.

After the Wizards' win on Saturday, they remain in the six spot, and because the Bobcats also won, they remain one game back of the Wiz with two to play.

But on Sunday, the three seed flipped again as the Raptors won in Detroit and the Bulls lost in New York, which means if the season ended today, the Wizards would be headed north of the border to take on Toronto.

They are now tied for the three seed, but the Raptors hold the tie-breaker with two games left. They each play home games against two of the bottom feeders in the conference tonight, as the Raps host the Bucks and the Bulls host the Magic.

With the Pacers' win over the Thunder yesterday, combined with the Heat loss in Atlanta on Saturday, Indiana now controls its own destiny for the top spot in the East and the magic number is one. So any Heat loss or Pacers win will clinch it for Indiana.

What this all means going into tonight:

There's a chance, while not very likely, that we could have an idea of what the playoffs will look like after tonight as many teams can lock up seeds. Should the Wizards win and the Bobcats lose tonight, the Wiz would guarantee at least the six seed in the East, with an outside chance at five, should Brooklyn lose their two remaining games and the Wiz win again on Wednesday in Boston. A Wizards win would also lock up Indiana as the top seed and Miami as the two seed. If Toronto wins and Chicago loses, Toronto would lock up the three seed and Chicago the four.

These are all "what ifs," but in all likelihood we won't know who we are playing or where we are going until the conclusion of Wednesday night's game in Boston.

If the Wizards win tonight:

If the Bobcats lose, they can't finish lower than six with an outside chance at five (Brooklyn would need to lose out).

If the Bobcats win, the Wizards will remain the six seed with one game left for each team on Wednesday.

If the Wizards lose tonight:

If the Bobcats lose, the Wizards will remain the six seed and be mathematically eliminated from the five seed with one game left on Wednesday.

If the Bobcats win, they would jump over the Wizards and become the six seed with one game left on Wednesday.

If the season ended today

1. Pacers vs. 8. Hawks
2. Heat vs. 7. Bobcats
3. Raptors vs. 6. Wizards
4. Bulls vs. 5. Nets

Wizards

Mon: vs. Miami | Weds: @ Boston

Bobcats

Mon: @ Atlanta | Weds: vs. Chicago

Raptors

Mon: vs. Milwaukee | Weds: @ New York

Bulls

Mon: vs. Orlando | Weds: @ Charlotte

Heat

Mon: @ Washington | Weds: vs. Philadelphia

Pacers

Weds: @ Orlando



April 12 Update

What did we learn after Friday night's games? Wait until the regular season is over before making any plans for a playoff road trip.

This likely is going to come down to the final day of the regular season, Wednesday April 16th.  As of now, it's too hard to make any kind of strong prediction as to who the Wiz will get.  There's the race for the top seed between Miami and Indiana, the race for the three seed between Chicago and Toronto, the race for the six seed between Charlotte and Washington, and then a race for the eight seed between Atlanta and New York.  

The good news is that after the Wizards beat the Magic on Friday, they once again control their own destiny for the six seed in the East. That's because Charlotte slipped up in Boston and sans Kemba Walker were unable to continue their winning streak. The Wizards are now one game ahead of Charlotte for that six seed with three games left.

The Brooklyn Nets also lost on Friday and at home to the Atlanta Hawks. That means that the five seed is still mathematically possible for the Wizards, although they would need to win their final three games and have the Nets lose two of their last three. The Nets finish the season with Orlando, New York, and Cleveland. This is unlikely, but still possible, so we'll keep it on the potential scenarios list.

Up atop the East, the Heat took care of the Pacers in Miami, which means they leap frog Indiana for the top spot in the conference. Miami now controls its own fate, as they have three games left, including one in Washington on Monday.

The Bulls won their seventh in a row, coming back from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat the Pistons in Chicago. This is significant because the Raptors lost at home to the Knicks, which means the Bulls have now passed the Raps for the three seed in the East with three games left.

The Knicks did their part, getting a big road win in Toronto, but their playoff lives are hanging by a thread as the Hawks pulled out a big road win in Brooklyn and have lowered their magic number to one. 

If the season ended today

1. Heat vs. 8. Hawks
2. Pacers vs. 7. Bobcats
3. Bulls vs. 6. Wizards
4. Raptors vs. 5. Nets

So after one night, six of the eight playoff teams moved seeds and we still have five more days of the regular season. A lot can happen between now and then so stay tuned and we'll keep you up to date with the latest scenarios.

Wizards

 Sat: vs. Milwaukee | Mon: vs. Miami | Weds: @ Boston

Bobcats

Sat: vs. Philadelphia | Mon: @ Atlanta | Weds: vs. Chicago

Raptors

Sun: @ Detroit | Mon: vs. Milwaukee | Weds: @ New York

Bulls

Sun: @ New York | Mon: vs. Orlando | Weds: @ Charlotte

Heat

Sat: @ Atlanta | Mon: @ Washington | Weds: vs. Philadelphia

Pacers

 Sun: vs. Oklahoma City | Weds: @ Orlando



April 11 Update

We're a game closer to the end of the season, but the playoff picture may have become even foggier after the Wiz fell 94-88 in OT to the Bobcats on Wednesday.

It now appears that it will be one of four teams who the Wizards could end up playing in the first round and that all depends on whether the Wizards finish with the six or seven seed.

After Wednesday's loss, the Bobcats jumped the Wizards in the standings and took over the six seed as they won the season series, 3-1, and now hold the tie-breaker.

With Indiana squeaking out a win on Wednesday in Milwaukee and Miami losing in Memphis, the Pacers overtook the Heat for the top spot in the East, which means if the season ended today, the Wizards would see themselves up against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in the first round.

But of course, so much can change over the next four games, and the Pacers and Heat play each other tonight, so we'll let the season play it's course and see how the cards end up falling.

Meanwhile, the Bulls and Raptors continue to tally off wins and remain tied for the three seed. The Raptors will have the tie-breaker because they are a division leader if that's how they finished the year. If the Wizards finish these last four games with a better record than the Bobcats, they'll face either the Raptors or Bulls in the first round, depending on which team ends up as the three seed.

If the season ended today

1. Pacers vs. 8. Hawks
2. Heat vs. 7. Wizards
3. Raptors vs. 6. Bobcats
4. Bulls vs. 5. Nets

Remaining Schedules

Wizards

Fri: @ Orlando | Sat: vs. Milwaukee | Mon: vs. Miami | Weds: @ Boston

Bobcats

Fri: @ Boston | Sat: vs. Philadelphia | Mon: @ Atlanta | Weds: vs. Chicago

Raptors

Fri: vs. New York | Sun: @ Detroit | Mon: @ Milwaukee | Weds: @ New York

Bulls

Fri: vs. Detroit | Sun: @ New York | Mon: vs. Orlando | Weds: @ Charlotte

Heat

Fri: vs. Indiana | Sat: @ Atlanta | Mon: @ Washington | Weds: vs. Philadelphia

Pacers

Fri: @ Miami | Sun: vs. Oklahoma City | Weds: @ Orlando



April 9 Update

The Wizards have just five games remaining in the 2013-14 season and while they have already clinched a playoff berth, their seeding and opponent is far from set.

Here's a look at the potential scenarios that could play out:

Battle with Charlotte

Although the Wizards can still mathematically finish higher than the six seed, they are now 2.5 games behind Brooklyn who are currently in fifth place in the East. So, the real battle now is with the Charlotte Bobcats for that coveted six seed. For the last few months, the word throughout the NBA had been to stay away from the seven and eight seed in the East if you wanted any chance to get out of the first round. But, the way the Pacers have been playing the last few weeks, suddenly that seven seed may not be quite as bad.

However, both the Wizards and Bobcats have their eyes on that six spot and this game on Wednesday could very well be the decider.

How big is this game on Wednesday? Well think of it as being worth four games in the standings. Here's why: If the Wizards win, they will take a two game lead over Charlotte with four games to play. If they lose, they are tied. But here's why it's worth two more games. If the Wizards win, they hold the tie-breaker, which would in essence mean they are three games ahead with four games left. If the Bobcats win, they would jump the Wizards in the standings because they would hold the tie-breaker. So the Wizards could nearly seal the six seed with a win on Wednesday, or it could be up for grabs with one week left in the season.

The Wizards finish the year with home games against the Bucks and Heat and road games against the Magic and Celtics.

The Bobcats play two home games with the 76ers and Bulls and have road games against the Celtics and Hawks.

Who Will the Wizards Play in the First Round?

This question may not be answered until the last game of the season, but it looks like it will either be the Toronto Raptors, the Chicago Bulls, or the Indiana Pacers (if the Wizards finish as the seven seed).

The Bulls and Raptors are currently tied for the three seed, but the Raps hold the tie-breaker because they are a division leader. They each have five games remaining and have been playing well of late, so this really could come down to the wire.

There's still the outside chance the Brooklyn Nets could sneak up into the three seed, but as we get closer to the end of the season that's becoming more and more unlikely.

If the season ended today

1. Heat vs. 8. Hawks
2. Pacers vs. 7. Bobcats
3. Raptors vs. 6. Wizards
4. Bulls vs. 5. Nets

We'll keep you updated on the potential scenarios and standings over the final eight days of the regular season.


Posted in: Sports
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