Boston: 106.4 points/100 possessions (19th)
Washington 102.5 points/100 possessions (28th)
Boston: 100.4 points allowed/100 possessions (2nd)
Washington: 110.4 points allowed/100 possessions (28th)
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: The Celtics will be calling off the dogs tonight, benching Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and potentially Paul Pierce as well for rest purposes, with Jeff Green, Glen Davis, and Delonte West all earning starts. Given the lack of confidence of positive play by Davis and Green yesterday, giving them some major minutes tonight, while giving the starters a blow seems to be the best way to go at this point. In the meantime, it’s kind of pathetic how much of Friday’s preview I can literally just cut and paste, so if the C’s are mailing this one in, I’m going to as well, instead using Ryan DeGama’s sweet words:
After being humbled by the Bulls Heat 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 (to still have a chance) at the second seed.
Or if they don’t, perhaps the Wizards will lose it on their own.
Of course… you may remember this non-classic from earlier in the season.
They haven’t changed since Friday, so let’s stick with the Ryan theme here:
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.
PLAYERS WHO DO NOT MAKE ME WORRY:
Pierce. Back to Brian here. I hope he plays tonight. He’s the only one (besides KG) that actually showed up to play yesterday and is still playing tremendous basketball. Keep him in the game tonight, on the off chance Miami trips up against Atlanta, and the C’s can swoop in for the two seed.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE FROM BOSTON TONIGHT:
Try hard. Find a rhythm/confidence for the inept bench unit. Keep hope alive for a second seed.
(NOT THAT CONFIDENT) PREDICTION:
Celtics 99, Wizards 97 If they have any pride left, they will pull this out. I’m grasping at straws here I know.