WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – If the NBA playoffs began today, the Washington Wizards would have secured the 6th-seed in the Eastern Conference and would b preparing to play a 7-game series against the Toronto Raptors.
But at 36-34, they still have some work to do, with respect to remaining in playoff contention and rising as high in the standings as possible in their 12 remaining games, because in the NBA playoffs — let’s face it — seeding matters.
Currently, the Wizards are slated to face Toronto, who would be the 3rd-seed in the opening playoff round, and against whom the Wizards are 1-3 this season — their only win coming in that triple overtime thriller on Feb. 27.
But, against the Nets, for instance, who would be the 5th-seed, the Wizards are 3-0 by a total point differential of 17 points. Against the Bulls, the 4th-seed, Washington is 2-0 with a 17-point margin of victory, and still one head-to-head matchup to play.
If Bradley Beal’s words are to be taken as gospel, the Wizards are very conscious of this, and of their necessity to attain the best possible seed with what little time they have left this season.
“We’re definitely trying to get to the 4th or 5th seed, and hopefully 3rd, depending on how well these other teams do,” Beal told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. “That’s definitely our main goal and we have a great opportunity to do so. ”
Only a month ago, the Wizards goal was to shoot for the 3rd-seed, John Wall said. Now, it seems, those goals have been slightly adjusted to fit the practicality of their current situation, but are still hopeful and largely within reach.
“We’ve got three weeks left of basketball and the season’s wearing down,” Beal said. “So we definitely gotta focus on seeding now and try to get these wins, especially at home. We definitely gotta win the games that we’re supposed to win.”
Beal also had nothing but kind things to say about teammate Drew Gooden’s delightfully surprising contribution to the team.
“I’m happy for him because he’s taken full advantage of his opportunities he’s been given, and we’re definitely happy and fortunate to have him,” Beal said.
“He came off injury his last couple years, and he’s definitely showing us that he can play,” he said. “I think the games he’s played, he’s averaged like 15-plus (points) a game, so he’s definitely been contributing, he’s been working his butt off, he’s a great vocal leader — a leader by example, as well — so we’re definitely happy he’s a part of us.”
Washington’s next game is at home on Wednesday against the Suns.
Listen to the full interview in the audio clip above.
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