The NBA regular season may be winding down, but the postseason race is heating up. From now until the playoffs tip, we'll start taking a closer look at the daily action in the Eastern Conference. More specifically, teams the Washington Wizards are battling for playoff seeding. Check back daily for updates, news and notes pertaining to the Wizards' playoff push...
First Quarter: The Wizards' home loss wasn't the only bad result for the home team. Combined with Charlotte's 116-111 overtime win over the Brooklyn Nets, Washington's lead over the Bobcats dropped to 1 1/2 games for the sixth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The team in sixth might face the Toronto Raptors in the first round. The team in seventh likely gets two-defending champion Miami Heat in round one. So, yeah, there's a difference between sixth and seventh. On the plus side, the Wizards remain only 1 1/2 games back of the fifth place Nets. Read on regarding possible tiebreaker scenarios.
What you may have missed from last night in the Association:
*Suns 99 Wizards 93: Marcin Gortat is a loss to explain why the Wizards lost for the fourth time in five games.
*Nets 111 Bobcats 116: Charlotte is 10-2 in its last 12 homes games. Read on to see when a certain team heads to the Tar Heel state.
*Raptors 99 Celtics 90: Toronto's first win in Boston since 2008, snapping an 11-game losing streak.
*Cavaliers 97 Pistons 96: No Kyrie Irving, no problem for Cleveland, winners of three straight - thanks to Dion Waiters' buzzer-beating game-winner.
*Hawks 83 Timberwolves 107: From the moment Al Horford went down with a season-ending injury, Atlanta appeared headed for the lottery. Four straight losses moves them closer to ping-pong ball territory.
*Heat 83 Pacers 84: Seeing I was at Wizards-Suns, I'll have to catch the replay of this apparent slugfest between the East's top two teams. I could also just read the recap from our online cousins at ProBasketballTalk.
[RELATED: Wittman considering lineup changes]
*Knicks 107 Kings 99: One night after allowing a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, New York rebounded with a win despite nearly blowing a 24-point lead. Carmelo Anthony drops 36 points while J.R. Smith dropped in nine 3-pointers.
- 1) Indiana^ (52-20)
- 2) Miami^ (48-22, 3.0 GB)
- 3) Chicago (40-31, 11.0 GB)
- 3) Toronto (40-31, 11.0 GB)
- 5) Brooklyn (37-33, 14.0 GB)
- 6) Washington (36-35, 15.5 GB)
- 7) Charlotte (35-37, 17.0 GB)
- 8) Atlanta (31-39, 20.0 GB)
- 9) NY Knicks (30-42, 22.0 GB)
- 10) Cleveland (29-44, 23.5 GB)
- 11) Detroit (26-45, 25.5 GB)
^ clinched playoff berth
News and notes that might be of interest for the Wizards: Only 11 games remain including five against Washington is directly competing with for seeding or a playoff berth. For the most part, tiebreakers are set, though one or perhaps two potentially crucial matchup's remains in play. Here's a look at the scenarios team-by-team with the current head-to-head record and games remaining.
Atlanta: Wizards 2-1; @ Washington March 29
Brooklyn: Wizards 3-0
Charlotte: Tied at 1-1; @Charlotte March 31; Home April 9
Chicago: Wizards 2-0; Home April 5
Cleveland: Tied at 2-2
Detroit: Tied at 2-2
New York: Wizards 2-0; @New York April 4
Toronto: Raptors 3-1
Beyond this, the next set of tiebreakers start with division or conference record and then go from there.
*Trail Blazers @ Hawks: