Boston: 104.3 points/100 possessions (t-15th)
Washington 99.6 points/100 possessions (28th)
Boston: 97.8 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Washington: 107.8 points allowed/100 possessions (t-26th)
Probable Wizards starters: John Wall (PG), Jordan Crawford (SG), Maurice Evans (SF), Andray Blatche (PF), JaVale McGee (C)
View from the opposing bench: Truth About It
Thumbnail: After being humbled by the Bulls last night on national TV, the Celtics have to deal with a second game less than 24 hours later. The prognosis for this kind of thing is not good, as we all know, but at least this is the second last back-to-back of the season. But Boston has to have this game if they want the second seed.
On the dead legs front, Boston’s big four played fewer minutes than you might think against Chicago. Ray Allen went for 38, in what I assume was an attempt to get him back in rhythm (fail) but Rajon Rondo (31), Paul Pierce (32) and Kevin Garnett (30) should have enough to pull this game out.
Or if they don’t, perhaps the Wizards will lose it on their own. Washington is 3-36 on the road.
Of course… you may remember this non-classic from earlier in the season.
WHAT THE WIZARDS DO WELL:
Scoop up some opportunistic wins against bad teams playing out the stretch. Washington has won three of its last four games, taking down Charlotte, Cleveland and Detroit. Although the Pacers pulverized them 136-112 on Wednesday.
WHAT THE WIZARDS DO POORLY:
Most other things. The Wiz are 26th in the league in defensive efficiency. If the Celtics move the ball the way they did last night, they’ll score easily against this team. They Wiz are also 28th in the league in offensive efficiency. Boston’s effort against Chicago was woefully insufficient but Washington’s predilection to take bad shots might bail them out.
It’s kind of depressing. A decent effort should easily shut down this Wizards team. No idea if that’s coming tonight or not.
PLAYERS WHO MAKE ME WORRY:
Blatche has put up some big numbers recently. He’s averaging 24.8 points and 12.8 rebounds over his last five games. But it’s Andray Blatche, you say. Of course, he’s going off in meaningless games. That won’t happen against the Celtics. Will it?
Boston’s shorthanded and softened frontline is actually a perfect target for him. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he kept up his box-score stuffing ways. Sadly enough, it’s now reasonable to ask if Boston’s bigs will be able to match his aggression inside.
Wall. Rondo failed against Derrick Rose last night and now he’s gotta dial it up for another difficult cover in Wall. Let’s see if Doc Rivers splits the coverage between Rondo and Delonte West, who has been quietly ramping up his game for the playoffs.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:
Pierce. It was a subpar game for the captain last night after a number of excellent ones in a row. I expect a bounce back. Particularly on the defensive end and in taking care of the ball.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:
Try hard. Win easy.
(NOT THAT CONFIDENT) PREDICTION:
Boston 101 Washington 93