Boston: 102.0 points/100 possessions (11th)
Washington: 90.0 points/100 possessions (26)
Boston: 112 points allowed/100 possessions (T-28th)
Washington: 103.0 points allowed/100 possessions (22nd)
Probable Wiz starters: AJ Price (PG), Bradley Beal (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), Trevor Booker (PF), Emeka Okafor (C)
View from the Opposing Bench: Truth About It
Thumbnail: So, the Celtics have decided to ease their way into the season. I think we can handle this. By now, we’re all numb to this core submitting long stretches of futility during the regular season, aren’t we? So, a couple of games of make-or-miss offense and league-worst defense (tied with Miami!) aren’t anything to worry about. It might take 20 games for Doc Rivers to get these guys executing his system with any kind of precision.
Still, which comes first — the execution or the identity? The temperament of this team bothers me. Perhaps they’re thinking their way through the sets, but to me they don’t look like they have enough fight in them. I like what I’ve seen from Brandon Bass and Jason Terry looks hopped up, if only periodically effective, but watching the Milwaukee game, I was reminded of when the Celtics had the aggressive likes of Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins on the floor. This isn’t empty nostalgia. As the team figures itself out, I hope KG and Rajon Rondo find a way to tease out the inner snarl in guys like Jeff Green and Courtney Lee, who would both benefit from playing with an edge.
Tonight, let’s hope Boston’s offense creates good shots. The Miami game felt like fool’s gold to me. The C’s weren’t getting much of what they wanted out of the pick and roll against Miami’s perimeter pressure and the shotmaking covered for that. That’s not consistently repeatable. It would also be nice to see more transition offense out of this team, but we all know that starts on defense. On that end, I want to see ball pressure on the perimeter, crisper rotations and some physicality inside if Rivers has them going big.
Prediction: Right now, I’m feeling like the C’s and Wiz will split this home-and-home series. I’ll say Washington takes the first one.
Wizards 95 Celtics 91