washingtonpost.com
Stretch Run Is Not As Tough as It Looks

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 7, 2008

At a glance, the five-game sprint to the finish looks brutal for the Wizards, who host Boston on Wednesday, visit Detroit on Friday, host Philadelphia on Saturday and close the regular season next week with a home game against Indiana and a visit to Orlando.

However, there is a good chance that at least four of the five opponents will have nothing to play for or may be resting stars for the playoffs. Boston, Detroit and Orlando are locked in as the East's top three seeds respectively and by Monday, Indiana could be out of playoff contention.

The most heated game could be Saturday night when Philadelphia visits Verizon Center. The 76ers trail the fifth-place Wizards by one game and have won 21 of their past 28. Saturday's game could have major implications because the 76ers lead the season series 2-1 and the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record.

The Wizards could face a watered-down version of the Celtics Wednesday night.

With home-court advantage throughout the playoffs already secured, Boston's big three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were held out of Saturday's win at Charlotte and Coach Doc Rivers indicated that he will rely heavily on reserves in the final six games.

Detroit Coach Flip Saunders recently took a similar approach when he sat Rasheed Wallace, Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton for an entire game though Saunders did recently say that he planned on playing his key players through the final games.

UP NEXT: Wednesday vs. Boston 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Friday at Detroit 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

Saturday vs. Philadelphia 7 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company