Wake-up call: Serious playoff teams close with authority

Wake-up call: Serious playoff teams close with authority
March 14, 2014, 6:00 am
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Looking around the NBA, Wizards coach Randy Wittman sees solid playoff teams having something in common during this time of year. They're starting to separate themselves from the pack, unlike his team that has now lost two in a row going into Friday's game at the Orlando Magic (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).

"You don't want to wait and wait around until the end. The Clippers are a good team. They've won nine in a row. The Spurs they've won eight in a row," Wittman said. "Teams that know what this is all about try and take care of business now and get it done. That's what our thought process has to be."

The Memphis Grizzlies have won four games in a row. The Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls have won seven of their last 10. 

The Wizards (33-31) play the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday in the second game of a back-to-back and then go on a four-game West coast trip. The Nets are on a three-game winning steak.

"From the beginning of the year we always felt we could be a three seed in the East," reserve forward Al Harrington said. "That's one of the things we wanted to achieve. We just got to keep working at it. It's not over yet. We've got to find a way to get some momentum and get another five-, six-, seven-game win streak … That'll get us in position." 

That road trip will be the last time Washington will play consecutive games away from Verizon Center for the rest of the season. Five of those next six games are against teams that have losing records. 

"It's time to put our foot on the gas," said backup point guard Andre Miller, "and approach every game like a playoff game."