Although the standings indicate the Washington Wizards are headed to the postseason this weekend Randy White Jersey , they are staggering to the finish.
The Wizards will be making their fourth playoff appearance in the last five seasons and hope to finish the regular season on a good note when they visit the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
Even when John Wall was sidelined while recovering from a knee injury, the Wizards rose to as high as fourth in East. Now Washington (43-38) is eighth after Wall collected 29 points and 11 assists in his fourth game back during a 113-101 home win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Washington holds the same record as the Miami Heat, who are hosting the top-seeded Toronto Raptors on Wednesday. The Wizards are 7-12 in their last 20 games after they won 10 of 13 games from Jan. 27-Feb. 27
To get the sixth seed Washington must beat Orlando while Milwaukee and Miami lose. To get the seventh seed, Washington must win Wednesday and get a loss by either the Heat or Bucks, who are visiting Philadelphia.
A sixth seed would earn Washington a matchup with Cleveland or Philadelphia, while the seventh seed means a matchup against Boston and a rematch of last season’s hard-fought seven-game series in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“Being in the playoffs is not disappointing,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s game. “With where we are, sure I’d love to be in a higher seed. We’re worried about ourselves, we gotta play better. We gotta string some games together, have a good showing the next two games. Competitive spirit on both ends and for each other.”
The Wizards beat the Celtics after getting a film session of recent games and playoff games from last season
“Looking at the things we were doing over the course of the year, over the course of the last couple games,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal told reporters. “Just seeing our demeanor and our approach and seeing two different teams. They showed us clips of us last year in the playoffs. Just our intensity Charles Leno Jersey , our focus, our grit and grind, attention for detail for everything was a lot better. So, that’s who we need to be.”
Orlando (24-57) is 5-14 in its last 19 games and 16-24 at home this season. Wednesday could also be the final game for coach Frank Vogel, who was hired before last season under the previous regime.
Vogel is 53-110 and has two years remaining on his contract, though the team is under new management in first-year president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and new general manager John Hammond.
This season, the Magic began 8-4 but dropped 27 of their 31 games. The team’s rotation players have missed a total of 224 games due to injuries.
“I think he’s done the best job he could,” Orlando center Nikola Vucevic told reporters. “Last year, he came in and he had a team that was just put together — a lot of new players. It didn’t work out. We just couldn’t get things together on the court at all. It looked good on paper. On the court, it never clicked. So, it was a tough situation.”
In their last home appearance, the Magic dropped a 137-100 decision to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday and then followed it up with double-digit losses at Toronto and Milwaukee.
In Monday’s 102-86 loss to the Bucks Tracy Walker Jersey , the Magic missed 19 of 24 3-point shots and couldn’t keep pace defensively in their 25th double-digit loss of the season. Orlando also dropped to 6-22 against Eastern Conference playoff teams.
“It’s been the case all season. Our defense has never been consistent enough,” Vogel said.
Vucevic led the Magic with 17 points and has six double-doubles in his last seven games.
The Wizards have averaged 123.3 points in winning the first three meetings against Orlando and are trying to sweep the season series for the fourth time in five seasons. Washington also is 17-2 in the last 19 meetings.
A police officer in suburban Atlanta has been fired after an internal investigation found he used unnecessary force during the arrest of a former college football player, the police chief said Thursday.
Henry County police officer David Rose faced administrative charges of maltreatment or unnecessary force during the Dec. 2 arrest of Desmond Marrow and also faced conduct violations, Chief Mark Amerman said in an emailed statement. Amerman said he agreed with an internal investigation's findings and fired Rose.
Also Thursday, Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo said no felony charges would be brought against Marrow.
Police were called to a shopping center parking lot because of an alleged road rage situation involving Marrow, according to the police report and witness statements.
In a one-minute video clip posted online, officers can be seen forcefully taking a handcuffed Marrow to the ground by sweeping his legs out from under him as he yells, "I'm not even fighting back." When he's on the ground, an officer puts his hand on Marrow's throat for several seconds and Marrow says, "I can't breathe," while another officer tells him to settle down.
Marrow is black. Henry County police didn't immediately respond to an email Thursday seeking to confirm Rose's race. Henry County is in the southeastern arc of metro Atlanta.
Rose was recorded on his in-car video camera system saying that he had choked Marrow and that he wasn't going to include that information in his report, Amerman said.
"(W)e promised to find the truth for Desmond Marrow Jaelen Strong Jersey ," wherever it led, Amerson said. He added that "being open and transparent is important to us at the Henry County Police Department."
It wasn't immediately clear whether Rose had an attorney who could comment on his firing.
Marrow's lawyers had accused the officers of using excessive force and lying in their report. On Thursday, they applauded the police chief and district attorney.
"We're happy that this chief stepped forward and is holding the officer who choked Desmond accountable and getting him off the force, attorney Chris Stewart said in a phone interview.
Police had arrested Marrow on charges of terroristic threats, felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and aggressive driving. A magistrate judge has already dismissed the terroristic threats charges. Pattillo said he won't pursue the felony charge, and the misdemeanor charges will now be turned over to the county solicitor general for review.
Marrow and his attorneys have maintained that Marrow followed two men in a car into a shopping center parking lot to talk with them after the men yelled racial slurs and threw coffee at him. Given those circumstances, another of Marrow's attorney's, Andrea Boyd, said she hopes the solicitor general will drop the other charges as well.
Marrow said the developments in his case represent a victory for other victims of excessive use of force by police.
"It's a step in the right direction for all the other victims, the ones that can't speak, the ones that died Will Fuller V Jersey ," he said. "It's a win for their families also."
Robbie Swinson, who witnessed Marrow's arrest, told The Associated Press last month that he believes police used unnecessary force when they took Marrow to the ground once he was in cuffs and choked him. But he also said he saw Marrow aggressively chase another vehicle down the road and in the parking lot, heard him talk about shooting people and then saw him scuffle with police as they tried to handcuff him.
The police chief said the department's internal investigation also found that the actions of a second officer were consistent with department policy. The brief video that circulated online doesn't show the entire encounter and doesn't show how much Marrow fought with officers as they tried to get control of the situation, Amerson said.
Addressing the part of the video that shows officers taking Marrow to the ground, Amerson said, "That is what police officers are trained to do when they cannot gain control of a suspect, and is in compliance with departmental policy."
Pattillo, the district attorney, said a review panel in his office is still working to determine whether the use of force was justified.
Marrow played football at the University of Toledo in Ohio but wasn't drafted out of college. He signed a contract in 2012 with the Houston Texans but was cut during preseason. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him up but he didn't make the team.
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