Pros and Cons of Wizards facing Raptors, Bulls or Heat

Pros and Cons of Wizards facing Raptors, Bulls or Heat
April 16, 2014, 10:45 am
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With one day remaining on the NBA calendar, we still don't know whether the Wizards will enter the playoffs as the fifth, sixth or seventh seed. That also means we don't know their first round opponent, though we know the candidates Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat.

Click here for the various seeding scenarios, read on for various pro and con reasons -- most legit, some less so -- regarding possibly meeting each foe.

Toronto Raptors

Pro: We always hear about the importance of postseason experience. Seeing as both the starting backcourt and the head coach have never been to the playoffs at all or in their current roles, Washington won't receive a check in this box heading into series against most foes. However, like the Wizards, the Raptors haven't been to the postseason since 2008. If indeed the playoffs are a different game, let's see how Toronto handles the situation, especially as the favorite.

Con: The Raptors won three of four over the Wizards with Washington's lone winning coming in triple overtime. The three losses were by an average of 10.3 points.

Pro: The Wizards won 134-129 at Toronto despite Nene's absence and without any contribution from Drew Gooden, who was making his Washington debut that night. Those two power forwards along with Marcin Gortat, Al Harrington, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin provide coach Randy Wittman with loads of rotation options. Fair to say that hasn't always been the case during Wittman's head coaching days in Washington.

Con: Toronto's backcourt of DeMar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry has done work in four games against Washington. In his first All-Star season, DeRozen averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Lowry posted a double-double (18.3 points, 10.3 assists) with 2.7 steals and a 47 3-point shooting percentage.

Pro: Fingers crossed, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will somehow get involved. You know where to find the videos and I suggest you do just that.

[RELATED: Wizards Playoff Tracker]

Chicago Bulls

Pro: The Wizards took two of three from the NBA's lowest scoring team this season with Nene missing the lone loss.

Con: Wow did the Bulls look dominant in the 96-78 victory at the Verizon Center on April 5. The Wizards scored only 26 points in the first half while the revitalized D.J. Augustin had 25 overall for Chicago.

Pro: The Bulls hold opponents to 43.1 percent shooting from the field, second best in the NBA behind the Pacers. That's not the "pro" part. The Wizards shot 47.1 percent from the field in three games. That's despite a 39 percent clip in the series finale. John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Martell Webster and Trevor Booker all made at least half of their attempts.

Con: Joakim Noah might finish as the Defensive Player of the Year not to mention top-5 in the MVP race. Nobody should argue if either occurs. The Bulls run their offense through the savvy center (5.4 assists) and he's still mad Chicago dealt away his buddy Luol Deng.

Pro: We get to relive the best of Gilbert Arenas and this notable game-winning dagger!!!

Miami Heat

Pro: Sure, Miami sat LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Monday's rout, but both played on Jan. 15 when Washington scored 43 points in the first quarter, led by 34 and won 114-97. Having the belief you can win is often a major key to doing so in the future. The Wizards have two examples of having done just that.

Con: LeBron James, LeBron James, LeBron James plus Chris Bosh, at least the presence of Dwyane Wade and a group that claimed the last two NBA titles.

Pro: The Heat are vulnerable to opposing big men. The Wizards have difference-making bigs. Marcin Gortat has been a double-double machine over the second half of the season. The center was one rebound shy of recording double-doubles in each game versus Miami and had a season-high 18 on March 10 in a 99-90 road loss. In the January victory, Nene had 19 points and a staggering nine assists. The big versus small lineups would be part of the coaching cat-and-mouse scenario between Wittman and Erik Spoelestra.

Con: Sure Miami is "only" 30-20 since the Jan. 1. It's true the Heat have lost nine of their last 12 road games. Wade hardly looks like an All-Star caliber player thanks to a lingering hamstring injury, not to mention wear and tear. All that said the Heat are still the team to beat for the title until someone actually does it.

Pro: With LeBron in the series, we get to relive this. Wait, maybe that's a con.

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