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The Washington Wizards may have what it takes to make some postseason noise this spring.
After struggling out of the gate, the Washington Wizards played strong enough basketball down the stretch that they project as the last team into the Eastern Conference Playoffs this season.
Washington finished in eighth place in the East this year, meaning the Wizards will have to take on the Boston Celtics in TD Garden on Tuesday night in the No. 7 vs. the No. 8 play-in tournament game. With a win over the Celtics, Washington could be the No. 7 seed. Even if they lose in Boston, Washington would host the winner of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game in the nation’s capital Thursday.
Here are three realistic goals for the Wizards should they qualify for the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
3. The Washington Wizards need to shock the world by winning play-in games
Admittedly, it would not be as shocking as it would have been a few weeks ago. Washington should be able to beat either the Celtics, the No. 9-seeded Indiana Pacers or the No. 10-seeded Charlotte Hornets at least once to qualify for the postseason. As the No. 7 seed, they would take on the Brooklyn Nets. More likely, they would face the Philadelphia 76ers at the East’s No. 8 seed.
Washington has the highest level of variance of the eight teams taking part in the play-in tournament in both conferences. The Wizards could be the No. 7 seed just as easily as they could lose back-to-back play-in games vs. the Celtics and the Hornets. This is the mercurial nature of the team’s best player in point guard Russell Westbrook. As he goes, Washington will follow.