at Boston Celtics (16-10) at Wizards (11-16)
Regular Season Game #27, Road Game #16
Wednesday, December 13, 2018
7:00 PM EST
TV: NBCSB, NBCSW
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub, WFED 1500 AM
Capital One Arena Probable Starting Matchups Point Guard
Kyrie Irving vs John Wall
Marcus Smart vs Bradley Beal Small Forward
Jayson Tatum vs Tomas SatoranskyPower Forward
Marcus Morris vs Otto Porter, Jr. Center
Al Horford vs Thomas Bryant Celtics Reserves
Gordon Hayward (doubtful)
Al Horford (questionable)
Aron Baynes (questionable)
Two Way Players
P. J. Dozier
Brad StevensWizards Reserves
Troy Brown, Jr.
Kelly Oubre, Jr
Otto Porter, Jr. (questionable)Two Way Players
Devin RobinsonHead Coach
Our red hot Boston Celtics travel to Washington tonight to face the Wizards for the first time this year. The Celtics have won their last 6 games in dominating fashion beating their opponents with an average margin of victory of 26 points. Boston played Monday night at home without Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes and Guerschon Yabusele, and yet carved out an impressive 113-100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Washington, losers of their last two games, return home from a 4 game road trip, hoping to bounce back after a 109-101 loss to Indiana.
The Wizards have been probably the most dysfunctional team in the league the past two years, a lot of it centered around John Wall. Wall has had problems with coach Scott Brooks, his team mates and the front office. There have been constant rumors that everyone, especially Bradley Beal, are available for trade. And the marquee move of the off-season was acquiring Dwight Howard who has only played in 9 games due to back surgery that will keep him from playing for months.
All of the dysfunctionality has translated to a poor year on the court. The Wiz started the season losing 7 of their first 8 games and have been playing .500 ball since. They have the 6th worse point differential in the league due to being one of the worst teams in the league at shooting the three and defending the three. They are the worst overall rebounding and defensive rebounding team in the NBA giving up big numbers in transition and on 2nd chance points. Overall, they are just a bad defensive team that gives up 116.8 points a game, good for 2nd worst in the league.
Luckily for Washington, their offense isn't nearly as bad as their defense. The Wizards play at a fast pace, move the ball well, take care of the ball, shoot the mid range jumpers well and get to the free throw line a lot. They are once again led by their All-Star backcourt of Bradley Beal(22.9 points and 4.3 assists and rebounds per game) and John Wall(20.4 points and 8.3 assists per game). Unfortunately for Washington, promising SF Otto Porter is struggling this year and Kelly Oubre has taken the step forward in his development that Washington expected. In an attempt to shake things up, coach Scott Brooks has relegated Markieff Morris to the bench replacing him with wing player Tomas Satoransky or Kelly Oubre, to mixed results. It's very obvious that a huge hole has been made of entirely at the center position with Dwight Howard's injury. Thomas Bryant and Ian Mahinmi just provide nothing for Washington at the 5.
The Celtics look to get back Kyrie Irving back tonight as well as Al Horford and Aron Baynes. Both players are listed as questionable. If both players are out, expect to see Daniel Theis starting and rookie Robert Williams play a big role. Williams played his first extended minutes of the season against New Orleans and was impressive(7 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks). Gordon Hayward is doubtful tonight due to his illness. If Horford, Baynes and Hayward are all out against, it will once again take a total team effort to secure the victory. Look for the Celtics to once again take the ball inside regularly as they did last game, especially with Bryant and Mahinmi roaming inside. A key to the game will be limiting one of Beal or Wall or at least make them very inefficient. Watch for Smart to do what he usually does, bulldog Beal and make a huge difference defensively. It will be fun to watch the Morris brothers battle each other. Marcus has had his best year as a pro it it could well be that Brooks will have Markeiff do what he can to limit his brother. Here's hoping for better team health and a 7 game winning streak.