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Game 15/66: Celtics (5-9) at Wizards (2-13) Open Thread

 

Boston @ Washington
1:00 PM
Verizon Center
CSNNE/NBA TV

Offensive Efficiency:
Boston: 98.6 points/100 possessions (19th)
Washington: 91.4 points/100 possessions (30th)

Defensive Efficiency:
Boston: 98.4 points/100 possessions (11th)  
Washington: 103.4 points/100 possessions (25th)

Probable ‘Zards Starters: John Wall (PG), Nick Young (SG), Chris Singleton (SF), Andray Blatche (PF), JaVale McGee (C)

Injury Report:
Washington: Ronny Turiaf is out.
Boston: Rajon Rondo made the flight to D.C. but may not play. Keyon Dooling and Chris Wilcox are probably out. Jermaine O’Neal is permanently day-to-day. Shaquille O’Neal is retired. Larry Bird is not walking through that door.

View From The Opposing Bench: Truth About It

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE
“You can say it really kills you to lose, but until it really kills you? For me, for 3-4 weeks, I’ve been on a steady diet of Subway, which is 20 minutes from my condo, and I bring it back up to my apartment. Because like I said, you don’t feel good about yourself. As a team, that’s how it has to be. It has to really hurt a lot.” — Flip Saunders

INSPIRATIONAL THUMBNAIL
Here’s a game NBA TV would probably love to wipe off its schedule. It’s an interesting contrast in that Boston and Washington have taken very different routes to get the same awful results. The Wizards are young, energetic and talented but largely clueless whereas the Celtics are smart and cagey but decrepit and on the verge of being scattered to the NBA winds.

Here’s a fun fact that should either depress or excite you depending on your perspective: 40% of Boston’s wins this season have come against the Wiz, a team so hapless that they can’t even execute breakaway dunks without inflaming public opinion against them:

PREGAME ANALYSIS
Last year, we would have referred to this game — a Sunday matinee against the worst team in the league — as a trap game. We would have been concerned about the Celtics playing down to the level of their competition. Today, with a gimpy Rondo (if any Rondo at all), the worry is more that Washington is Boston’s level of competition.

Some questions for today: will Boston move the ball enough to take advantage of the Wizards’ habit of enthusiastically losing track of their assignments after a few passes? Will the C’s be able to handle the athleticism of a Washington team emboldened by a win against OKC and a near-miss against Denver this week?

The Wizards would be smart to push the pace early against the Celtics, who may come out sluggish with the early start time. Confidence is key. If Washington can get out in transition, they can get Boston back on its heels and two things will result — the Wizards will start believing they can win and Boston will start believing Washington can beat them.

But if the Celtics come out and execute their defense (especially in the paint against Washington’s bigs), it should be a simple matter of waiting for Washington to make mistakes and then capitalizing. The Wizards make bad decisions on offense, gunning too early and from the wrong spots. They’re the worst offensive team in the league.

Boston doesn’t need to play brilliantly to win. They just need to play well.

Of course, that didn’t happen Friday against Phoenix, which makes you wonder if all this talk of decline and deconstruction is bothering the C’s more than they’re willing to admit.

PREDICTION
Boston 82 Washington 76

  • IBleedGren

    I don’t feel good about this game without Rondo. He’s the only person who can match Wizards athletic ability. John Wall and McGee will have a field day. Wizard 90 Celics 83

  • skeeds

    Ok, I'm giving this group one last chance. You know what should happen tonight? Pierce needs to drop 40! I don't care if he's out of shape, or whatever. If he's still the Truth, he needs to punish anyone who even thought about trading him.

    So here it is captain. We're waiting. Give us just half a reason and the Celtics nation will make sure you stay in Green forever and ever. But give us a sign man…

    • CG12

      thank you, nostradamus.

  • LACelticsFan

    Pierce is on his mode today. He has 16 of our first 40 points in the first half and still 3 minutes to go. Not gonna be denied today. Really hope Johnson gets in this game. Go C's!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CelticsBIG3

    First ankle injury Ray has had as a Celtic. That was the big worry about him when we traded for him.

  • I_Love_Green

    Pierce playing really well so far, and KG…well, he's old.

  • JCP

    Has there been any official word on RayRay yet?

    • CelticsBIG3

      not yet. not good either way. teams best shooter out is not good. this sucks

  • CelticsBIG3

    I've been waiting to see a KG dunk like that for a long time

  • steveb

    The reports of Pierce’s demise were premature.

  • LACelticsFan

    Some really great notes despite playing a bad team. Pierce balled today. KG looked nice. Avery had 7 assists despite going 1-8. We scored 100 points, been awhile coming. And got the win. Now lets string them together. Ray get some rest and raise and ice that ankle. Good win, dont care that it came against a bad team, we needed that one bad.

    • LACelticsFan

      oh man and let me not forget the great play of Bass and MP, they did their thing today too. Now if Rondo and Ray can come back and do their thing, we should be back on track. IMO I still would like to see Greg/Johnson log some bigger minutes.

    • jamie

      but 6 turnovers to go with the 7 assits.

      • LACelticsFan

        true 6 to's is not but good but I didnt see the game as I am in Cali, so I cant even debate that with you lol.

        • michaeljavid

          2nd best Celtics +/- for Avery, so I'm not going to worry about his 6 TO's

  • skeeds

    Seems my post was a bit prophetic. Pierce ain't going anywhere guys. Love the 34-10-8 stat line.
    Granted, the Wizards are one pathetic excuse of a team, but hey, we have to start somewhere, don't we?

  • steveb

    Most of Avery’s misses came from trying to dunk over McGee. He was getting to the rim but was determined to dunk. His shot looks pretty good just keep working on it. Moore suddenly seems to be regressing or thinking way too much. Johnson must not show much in practice but I don’t see why Greg only gets a minute here and there.

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  • janos

    I dont see a pos game talking post but I liike say CELTICS PIERCE take care business today and go all over wizards. Is very good start my Sundays.

  • LACelticFan

    For the record, only two players in the NBA have full no-trade clauses. That would be the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki. Pierce was eligible for a no-trade clause in his latest contract with the Celtics, just like Nowitzki, but Boston held firm in withholding one as part of a four-year deal worth in excess of $60 million bestowed on the 34-year-old in July 2010.

    Just wanted to share that PP can't block the trade although he could retire immediately upon finalization of any trade. But you know he won't do that. Lets just hope we hit our stride and really play well, so DA will just ride out this season with our roster intact, and then go play FA pick em.

    • LACelticFan

      Pavlovic cant be traded either as he is a 1 year Bird – players who were just signed to a new one-year deal with the same team they played for last season — as well as the restricted free agents who signed an offer sheet with a new team during the offseason that their previous employer matched.

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