As the NBA prepares to resume amid a global pandemic, there will no doubt be unexpected twists on the way to the conclusion of the NBA season as a direct result of COVID-19.
Could the Washington Wizards actually making the playoffs be the first of them?
Washington is currently the only Eastern Conference team in the bubble that isn’t in playoff position. But that could change if the Wizards play well because the Brooklyn Nets will be without not only injured stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but also DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chandler and perhaps even Spencer Dinwiddie, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is still experiencing symptoms as the season gets set to resume.
So this week on The Jump, Rachel Nichols asked Paul Pierce and Brian Windhorst to assess Washington’s odds of making the playoffs. The Truth still believes it’s a long shot.
“No John Wall, no Bertans, the Wizards are climbing Mount Everest,” said the Truth. “Bradley Beal is gonna go out there and put up big numbers, but to be six games out, and I know they have to be within four, only eight games to play. Like I said, I think they’re climbing Mount Everest. It’s an evaluation period. I think they’re out.”
That being said, they were also asked how the remaining Nets players should handle losing some of their teammates for the rest of the season. Paul believes they too should go into “evaluation” mode.
“You don’t have Kyrie, you don’t have KD, they’re out for the year. You lose your core players in Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan… If you’re the Nets, you’re looking at this as an evaluation period. You know, they probably weren’t gonna win in the playoffs anyways with the group that they’re bringing out there, so you use this time in these eight games and possibly the playoffs, if they are able to stay in the playoff mix, to evaluate players and to bring up their value.”
You can find conversations like these on The Jump weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.