Game On: Can Wizards sustain for 48 minutes?

Game On: Can Wizards sustain for 48 minutes?
April 9, 2014, 11:30 am
Share This Post

Lose this game and the Wizards can be almost assured of a first-round playoff matchup with the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers as a No. 7 seed. Beat the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night, they'll tie the season series and take a two-game lead in the standings with four games remaining. 

The Wizards also would have the next tiebreaker, conference record, locked up. They'd be four games better than Charlotte with four games remaining. 

"We know we gave the game away against them in Charlotte. ... It's basically a playoff game, just like the Chicago game. We've got to come out with more effort and fight from the beginning," point guard John Wall said. "That's how Chicago came out against us. We know that's how the Bobcats are going to come out against us. We're one game ahead. This is basically the biggest game of the season for us no matter what we did in the past."

TV: The pregame show Wizards Central is on CSN at 6:30 p.m. ET. Tipoff from Verizon Center is 7 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately follows the conclusion. Radio: 106.7 FM. 1500 AM. 

Last game: Wizards (40-37) lost to Chicago Bulls 96-78 on Saturday; Bobcats (39-38) won at Cleveland Cavaliers 96-94 OT on Saturday, their fifth victory in six games.

Last meeting: Charlotte won 100-94 at home March 31, erasing a 16-point deficit in the second half. Season series: Charlotte leads 2-1.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Bobcats –- PG Kemba Walker, SG Gerald Henderson, SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, PF Josh McRoberts, C Al Jefferson.

X-factors: PF Nene will play on a minutes restriction but it'll probably be unclear until just before tipoff if he'll start or come off the bench. ... McRoberts (ankle) is expected to play, according to coach Steve Clifford. 

Around the bend: The Wizards likely will practice Thursday before leaving for Orlando, where they'll play the Magic at Amway on Friday (CSN+, 7 p.m. ET).