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Wizards host Hornets with Wall return possible
The Wizards could get John Wall back for today's game as they look to clinch a playoff spot.
Capital One Arena | 3:00 p.m. | NBCSW/NBATV | 1500 AM
Wizards (41-34): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Hornets (34-42): G - Walker, G – Batum, F - Kidd-Gilchrist, F - Williams, C - Howard
Wizards: John Wall (Knee - Questionable), Otto Porter Jr. (Ankle - Questionable)
Hornets: Michael Carter-Williams (Shoulder - Out), Cody Zeller (Knee - Out)
Wall Return Imminent
While it hasn't been officially announced, all signs are pointing towards John Wall making his return to the court in today's game against the Hornets. Wall has now practiced all week with the team and after traveling and dressing for Thursday's game in Detroit, the next step would be for him to play in a game. The team will likely announce his official status about an hour and forty-five minutes before the game, but it certainly feels like this would be the game for him to return.
Once it's determined if Wall will play, the next question will be how much he actually plays and what kind of minutes restriction he will have to endure while he gets back into game shape. Wall has not played in a game since January 25th in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Wizards still have three more back-to-back sets before the regular season is over and it's unclear whether Wall will be allowed to play on the second game of a back-to-back, so even if he does play today, his status for Sunday's game against the Bulls will be in question.
Tomas Satoransky will likely move back to the backup point guard spot, with Ramon Sessions filling in as the third guard.
Wizards Try and Clinch Again
The Wizards have another chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win today as their magic number remains at one. Either a win over the Hornets or a Pistons loss to the Knicks would secure a playoff spot for Washington.
While last week the Wiz were still competing for home court in the first round, that idea is shrinking by the day, as Washington now sits 3.5 games behind Indiana for the fifth seed and four games behind Philadelphia for the fourth seed, the last seed with home court in the first round. With just seven games left, catching one of those teams would be unlikely. The race now is with the two teams below the Wizards as Miami enter today only a half game behind Washington and the eighth seeded Bucks are just one game back.
Hornets Playing Better
The Hornets have had a disappointing season and will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. They have been playing better of late and just had their four game win streak snapped when they lost to the Cavs on Wednesday. Charlotte has been scoring at a high rate and just put 137 on the Knicks earlier this week and scored 140 against Memphis last week. They have beaten the Wizards in all three meetings this season and have scored at least 122 points in all three outings. The Wizards will hope to get some added energy from the potential return of Wall and they'll need to defend a hot shooting Hornets team to secure a win today.
Up next, the Wizards play another afternoon game on Sunday in Chicago (3:30 p.m.).