Update from TD Garden: Jermaine O’Neal is out with a sore hamstring, so Greg Steimsma will get the first start of his NBA career. In addition, Chris Wilcox is back from his bruised shoulder injury and Ronny Turiaf is out for the Wizards with a broken hand.
Washington at Boston
7:30 P.M. ET
Boston: 104.4 points/100 possessions (10th)
Washington: 87.4 points/100 possessions (last)
Boston: 104.2 points allowed/100 possessions (22nd)
Washington: 103.7 points allowed/100 possessions (21st)
Probable Washington Starters: Johnathan Hildred Wall, Jr. (PG), Nick Young (SG), Rashard Quovon Lewis (SF), Andray Blatche (PF), JaVale McGee (C)
View From The Opposing Bench: Truth About It
The Celtics face the Wizards for the second night in a row, which means, of course, some great opportunities for science. We’ll get an almost pure look at the impact of back-to-backs on the Celtics, minus what’s compensated for by the home crowd. If the Celtics take this one by less than eight or, yikes, lose, then we’ll have a better understanding of how vulnerable this team is to the rigors of the compressed schedule. If it’s a blowout, then we’ll have some evidence that home court will be an influential variable (this is only the C’s second home game, and last night was their first road win). Science surrounds us.
There are some other variables out there, though, that could keep the Celtics from crushing .500 tonight. Even though Doc managed to minimize his starters’ minutes last night, he could try to do the same again regardless of game situation, especially for Paul Pierce’s on-court rehab. Mickael Pietrus won’t play for a couple weeks, so the small forward position could be shallow again, and we may see the triumphant return of Sasha Pavlovic. Jermaine O’Neal is also hobbled by a hammy injury; he’s expected to play, but not much. The Stiemsroller should get a few more minutes after some encouraging play last night.
Luckily, the most important player last night is the best equipped to withstand extended minutes in a back-to-back. Rajon Rondo was a completely nuts +26 in his Washington triple-double, and there’s going to be very little to stop him from taking advantage of the Wizards’ poor defensive rotations at home.
3-3! .500! Sweet mediocrity, come to me!