Washington Wizards climb to No. 5 seed as resting Nets fall to sixth seed

USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards avoided the Heat and Nets happily gave their starters rest in spite of falling in the standings.

This was the Brooklyn Nets starting lineup: J Gutierrez, Marcus Thornton, Marquis Teague, Andray Blatche and Jason Collins. They, quite obviously, did not want to beat the Cavaliers.

Beating Cleveland would have locked the Nets in at No. 5, where they would have to play the Chicago Bulls. But tanking strategically positioning has put the Nets in the No. 6 seed, matched up with the No. 3 seed Raptors. So they trotted out that starting lineup, lost **-** to the Cavaliers and have clinched the No. 6 seed.

With Brooklyn's loss, the Washington Wizards are now the No. 5 seed and will play the Bulls in the first round.

The Nets were happy to rest to finish their season. In the first season after their summer of acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, among others, Brooklyn started 5-14 and many wondered if they would even make the playoffs. They rallied and afforded themselves the luxury of rest for aging or weary legs.

Washington, on the other hand, could have quite the swing from the No. 5 seed, had they lost. A loss to Boston would have sunk them into a tie with the Charlotte Bobcats for the sixth seed. Because the Bobcats hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, the Wizards would have been the No. 7 seed facing LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

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