Wilbon thinks Wizards could 'scare' Nets in first-round series originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
As the Wizards continue to pile together wins and draw closer to clinching a spot in the play-in tournament, they're looking more and more formidable as a matchup for the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
If the Wizards stay where they are in the standings and can win two play-in games, they'll secure the eighth seed in the East and a first-round playoff matchup with either the Nets or Sixers. Usually a No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup is over in short order, with the top team in the conference winning the series in four or five games.
However, if the Wizards can get to No. 8, ESPN's Michael Wilbon likes their chances of making a bit of noise against a team like Brooklyn.
"They've beaten the Brooklyn Nets a couple of times this year and the Nets didn't have all of their people because they never have all of their people," Wilbon said on PTI Tuesday. "But if there's one team that the Nets probably would rather not play in the first round, it's Washington because of Westbrook and Bradley Beal, they've got two guys that are studs."
The Wizards are 2-1 against the Nets this season with both wins coming in dramatic fashion. It took a wide-open miss at the buzzer from Kevin Durant for the Wizards to win the first meeting and an absolute collapse down the stretch by the Nets back in late January for Washington to claim the other.
Still, the Wizards have been in every single game they've played against the Nets. If the two were to meet in the playoffs, a team with Westbrook and Beal wouldn't be an easy out.
"I don't think they'd win the series, but I think they could scare the hell out of Brooklyn," Wilbon said. "Westbrook in this final third [of the season] with these numbers he's putting up, he is up there in the conversation of great point guard runs of all time."
Wilbon's comments go against what Stephen A. Smith had to say about a week ago, when he gave the Wizards "zero chance" of making any sort of noise in the postseason. There's validity to that argument as well, considering the Nets have Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden and have yet to play heavy minutes with all three players available.
Would it be a surprise if the Nets dominate a series against the Wizards? Probably not, as they'll probably do that to everyone they go against in the East playoffs. But with the way Washington is playing right now, there's no doubt it'd be an entertaining series either way.