Losing to the Miami Heat is understandable, and that's nothing to be alarmed about for the Wizards after Monday's game. It's the next two games, which could help separate them from the pack or put their No. 5 playoff seeding in jeopardy, that could pose the problem.
The Wizards (33-30) have won eight of their last 10 games, including a 99-90 loss in Miami to end a five-game road win streak, but that still hasn't given them relief. The hard work is just beginning.
Wednesday's opponent, the Charlotte Bobcats (30-34) aren't far behind in the seventh spot. Saturday's opponent, the Brooklyn Nets (32-30), have won six of their last eight and are in the sixth spot. Both are playing their best basketball of the season.
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In between those home games, the Wizards play Friday at the Orlando Magic (19-46). The good news is they're 5-0 in games against these three opponents:
- Brooklyn: The Wizards already have won the season series because of two victories earlier this season. This is is the last meeting, but it is the second game of a back-to-back.
- Charlotte: They've only played once with two appointments this month and another in April to determine the series winner.
- Orlando: They've already won twice, though the series itself doesn't matter because the Magic aren't a playoff team. Still, should be easy wins with an average margin of victory of 12.5 points.
The winner of a series is the second criteria used for tiebreakers should the Wizards end up with the same record. Being a division champion -- the Nets trail the No. 3 Toronto Raptors by three games in the Atlantic Division -- is the first.
The Wizards lost the season series with the Raptors 3-1.