Washington Wizards: NBA Restart 2020 Preview, Prediction, Picks
Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards NBA Preview
NBA Returns July 31
Washington Wizards NBA Title Odds: +30000
The Washington Wizards hope to ruffle some feathers currently sitting on the outside looking in at the playoffs as the NBA season prepares to resume in the coming weeks in Orlando, Florida.
The Washington Wizards come to Orlando as the only non-playoff team out of the East to be invited to participate in the restart, sitting with a 24-40 record when the league paused in mid-March, 5.5 games behind Orlando for the 8th seed in the East. In what was supposed to be a retooling year without John Wall at the point, shelved for at least another 6-12 months after slipping and falling in his home and injuring his achilles, the Wizards tried to build around Bradley Beal, who sat at 2nd in the league in scoring with 30.5 points per game this season when the NBA was forced to halt the season.
Let’s take a look at the Wizards’ schedule and see if we can get a preview of what to expect from Washington as we prepare for playoff basketball starting in late July.
Remaining games on the Wizards’ schedule: Vs. Celtics, Thunder, 76ers, Nets, Bucks, Celtics, Suns, Bucks
When it comes to whether or not the break helped or hurt the Wizards, I’m not sure it really mattered much if we’re being completely honest. As far as what came out of the break, it helps the Wiz in the sense that if they can win two more games than Orlando or Brooklyn, it’ll force a play-in for the #8 seed and it would be a dream spot for Washington who were clinging onto hopes for the postseason when the league halted.
Seeding-wise, It’s most likely that the Wizards end up duking it out for the #8 seed, but forcing a play-in won’t be easy. A lot of the softer competition isn’t going to Orlando, and the Wizards only two somewhat winnable games in their remaining eight in my opinion, are the games against Phoenix and the Nets. Two games against Boston and Milwaukee as well as games against OKC and Philadelphia doesn’t sound like much of a recipe to succeed in this alternative format.
Odds-wise, the Wizards are +30000 to win the NBA title, +15000 to make it out of the Eastern Conference and +3000 to finish with the 8th seed in the East. The only playable bet for me here is maybe to take Washington to win the #8 seed at +3000. It will be tough as Washington will have the worst point differential (-4) of any team in the restart, and we mentioned how tough Washington’s eight game slate is projected to be. However if Beal turns into a man on a mission and Washington somehow forces the play-in (against what I’m projecting to be a banged-up Nets team if it happens) then watch out as the Wizards could make some noise. As far as anything else goes, I’ll have to pass on the long odds for Washington when it comes to winning the Eastern Conference and the NBA title.