The Washington Wizards lost to the New York Knicks 113-110 on Sunday night. Here are five observations of the game …
1. The most interesting race to the end in the NBA is not in the top of the West or in the bottom of the image of the East playoffs. It's about five places from the end of the league, as the Washington Wizards face a lot of teams for the sixth-best lottery in next month's draft.
On Sunday night, the Wizards helped their case. By losing to the Knicks, they broke a tie with three teams, the Mavs, Pelicans and the Grizzlies, with net possession of the sixth-worst record. Now they have one more defeat than the three with one more game to play.
That could make a big difference. The sixth worst record would give them a 37.2 percent chance in a top four pick. The ninth worst record would give them a 20.2 percent chance in the top four.
The Wizards have lost nine of their last 11 games overall. They close their season on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics.
2. This has been a difficult year for Devin Robinson in his second season with a two-way contract. He has spent the last two months rehabilitating a hip injury and probably would have played in many NBA games if that were not the case.
The injury almost ended his season, but he arrived just in time to appear in the last games. He played on Friday night and again on Sunday. Against the Knicks, he played well with 10 points, two blocks and one steal.
Robinson had a good year in the G League with averages of 19.9 points and 8.1 rebounds for the Go-Go. It would seem that he has done enough to stay next year as a prospect for the Wizards. But a new general manager will present some unknowns for many players in the organization and Robinson is included in that combination.
3. Bradley Beal has a penchant for strong falls and they are always disturbing, at least if you are not one of his brothers and are used to it. (link 🙂 But it's a completely different feeling to see Beal hit the deck in a game that essentially makes no sense.
The falls of Bradley Beal are even more terrifying when the Wizards are not in the playoff contest. pic.twitter.com/uSwU8jFt1b
– Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) April 8, 2019
The Wizards need to leave this season with Beal in one piece. But it seems that only knows a gear and that is to do everything possible.
The good news is that the Wizards kept their minutes under control. He played only 23 minutes, which is approximately 14 below his season average. He did not appear in the fourth room.
4. The Wizards do not have a second round selection until 2023 and that is not ideal. Mitchell Robinson gave the Wizards another reminder on Sunday night as to why.
Of course, most of the selections in the second round do not equal anything, but every year there is value and you never know when you will discover a gem. The Knicks found one at Robinson and now have a cheap and high bullish player to advance.
Robinson has the opportunity to be really good. He measures 7 feet 1 with a wingspan of 7 feet 4 and has impressive instincts around the edge at both ends of the floor. He had a good night with 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
The Wizards will have a new GM in the coming weeks and it should be a priority to add more draft badets. The Wizards could trade for a second-round pick in June or buy one. They need to recover some of the selections that Ernie Grunfeld exchanged.
5. The Wizards were without Jabari Parker and Jordan McRae due to injuries. Parker remains out of play due to a distension in his left knee and has missed the last two games. McRae is hurt by an Achilles injury and left Friday's loss.
Since there is only one game remaining, and especially since both are likely to seek new contracts this summer, it would not be surprising if their seasons are over. The Wizards only have one more game on Tuesday and none have reasons to take the risk.
For Parker, he has every reason to play safely, since it is the same knee on which he has torn his ACL twice. And for McRae, anything that involves an Achilles sounds ominous.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS: