The Next Five Days Downtown
Last night's Wizards loss was a gimme, and hardly changed the playoff math. If the Wizards beat the five bad-to-mediocre teams left on their schedule (Milwaukee, Miami, Indiana and Philly at home, and Chicago on the road), they'll almost certainly be the fifth seed and get to face LeBron and the BronBrons for the 17th consecutive postseason. If they only go 3-5 in that stretch and lose to the Sixers, they'll probably be no better than the sixth seed, and very likely the seventh, and then any poor bloggers forced to travel with the team will be forced to go to Detroit-area casinos.
The first two games of this closing stretch (Milwaukee at home tomorrow, and Miami at home on Friday) are like Iowa to John Edwards; no real bonus points for winning, but the whole thing collapses if they lose. These are two of the three worst teams in the East, coming to D.C. with absolutely nothing to play for. But as Ivan Carter notes, tomorrow night the Wiz might either get three of their top six players back in Gilbert, Caron Butler and Antonio Daniels, or theoretically might be forced to play without all three. Imagine going to an '80s-themed Biz Markie-featured birthday party off a home loss to Milwaukee. Cake won't taste quite as moist, I'm guessing.
Anyhow, what all of this means is the next five days at Verizon Center will yield five legitimate, non-coach-speak must wins (although not in the life-and-death sense), plus two of the greatest bobblehead nights ever, featuring Buckhantz and Chenier (on Friday) and Ovechkin (on Saturday). Now if we can only get a prop-loving referee or two.
Old Wizards things I've been meaning to link to:
* A plea for Gilbert to make a pitstop in the NBDL.
* A DeShawn vs. Drew Gooden beard poll.
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