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Magic vs. Wizards GameThread

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With significant lottery implications on the line, the Magic host the Wizards in their last game of the '17-18 season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

"Uncle, uncle." The Orlando Magic, limping to the 2017-18 finish line, will be mercifully tapping out and ending their once promising season tonight.

After a start to their season in which they won eight of their first twelve games, the Magic have dropped 53 of their last 69 games.

However, the Magic will be playing for than just their own pride Wednesday night.

Well, sort of. Orlando currently sits one half game ahead of both the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks in the overall standings.

An Orlando loss tonight would create a three-way tie for the third-worst record in the NBA. If that were to occur, all three teams would split 363 lottery combinations. All three teams would split roughly a 38% chance at a top-3 pick. An NBA conducted tiebreaker would still need to occur to settle the default order (3-5), just in case a team with even lower odds were to jump into the top-3 (and to decide the order of second round picks).

If the Magic were to win Wednesday night, their lottery odds would decrease significantly. A victory would place Orlando in sole possession of the fifth-worst odds, which means they would have less than a 30% chance of breaking into the top-3 (and less than a 9% chance of garnering the top overall selection).

Coach Vogel announced earlier today that starters Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and D.J. Augustin will play against the Wizards, as will Terrence Ross as he continues to progress in his return from injury. How many minutes Orlando's starters will log is to be determined (Vogel said, "not big minutes").

Wednesday night means something to the Washington Wizards as well. The Wizards, now 43-38 after their 113-101 home victory over the Boston Celtics last night, currently sit in the eight spot in the Eastern Conference (Miami is also 43-38 and hold a tiebreaker over the Wizards). However, Washington is within striking distance of moving up if a few scenarios play out Wednesday night.

If the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, both in action tonight, were each to lose to their respective opponents, then the Wizards would move up to the sixth seed (and take on either the Philadelphia 76ers or Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round). Washington could also potentially move up to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Magic, and either a Heat or Bucks loss. Reaching the seventh seed would pit the Wizards against the Celtics in the first round.

The Heat are hosting the Raptors, while the Bucks are visiting the Sixers (who must win to secure the third seed).

The Wizards will be without John Wall, who has yet to play on the second night of a back-to-back since returning form injury. Otto Porter Jr. (calf strain) is also being held out against the Magic.

The Wizards have averaged over 120 points per game against the Magic in their first three meetings this season, all Washington victories.

Earlier this week, we previewed Orlando's last game of the season against the Wizards with Alan Jenkins of Bullets Forever.

As always, leave your pre-game and in-game comments below! Follow us at @OPPMagicBlog as well. Enjoy!

Washington Wizards (43-38, Won 1 in a row) @ Orlando Magic (24-57, Lost 3 in a row)

April 11th, 2018

Amway Center

8:00 P.M. EST

TV: Fox Sports Florida

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS

Tomas Satoransky

PG

D.J. Augustin

Bradley Beal

SG

Wes Iwundu

Kelly Oubre Jr.

SF

Mario Hezonja

Markieff Morris

PF

Aaron Gordon

Marcin Gortat

C

Nikola Vucevic

WASHINGTON

ORLANDO

96.6 (17th of 30)

PACE

98.1 (11th of 30)

109.5 (10th of 30)

O-RTG

105.2 (25th of 30)

108.8 (15th of 30)

D-RTG

110.3 (20th of 30)