OK, so, that was some entrance into the Bubble, eh? The Brooklyn Nets never really put up much of a fight on Friday afternoon against the Magic. Yes, the Nets were shorthanded, but, trying to find any “good” to come from it - I guess TLC? - is a bit of a challenge.
The Nets have fallen a half a game behind the Magic and into the 8th spot in the East, setting them up with a first round matchup against the Bucks, if the season ended today.
Which, drumroll, brings us to today. The Nets take on a ‘meh’ Washington Wizards team that sits in 9th place, 6 games behind the Nets. Is this a must win? The League explains:
If the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is more than four games ahead of the team with the ninth-best record in the same conference, no play-in tournament will be necessary. The final playoff berth will simply go to the team with the eighth best record (regular-season games + seeding games).
But if the team with the eighth-best record in its conference is four games or fewer ahead of the team with the ninth-best record in the same conference, then we’ll have a battle for the final spot between those two teams.
The tournament will basically be a best-of-two series — where the No. 9 seed will have to win two head-to-head matchups to take over the No. 8 spot.
So, must win?
WHO: Brooklyn Nets (30-35) vs. Washington Wizards (24-41)
WHEN: 2:00PM EST
WHERE: YES Network, WFAN (radio)
For more on the Wizards, check out: Bullets Forever
Rui Hachimura has been having a quality rookie season and has a good chance of being named to the All-Rookie team. Washington will have to figure out what to do with their roster this offseason, and having a player like Hachimura as a key part of their future will be of the utmost importance.
Caris Levert is a good candidate to bounce back for the Nets. He didn’t do much after the first quarter as the Magic defense was locked in on making his life difficult. The Wiz were the worst defense in the association prior to the shut down and Caris should look to attack every chance he gets.