Saturday, December 21, 2013
W2W4: C's vs. Wizards (Game 28 of 82)
By Chris Forsberg
The Boston Celtics (12-15, 7-7 home) host the Washington Wizards (11-13, 5-8 away) on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden (1 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:
- COACH'S SCOUTING REPORT: Asked what stands out about the Wizards, first-year Celtics coach Brad Stevens noted, "[John] Wall's speed up and down the floor, his ability to put pressure on you on both ends. Obviously they’ve got excellent shooting in [Bradley] Beal, [Trevor] Ariza, and [Martell Webster specifically. Then you’ve got guys on the interior, their two trades in the last 18 months or whatever, you’ve got Nene and [Marcin] Gortat, those guys are bona fide NBA big guys and now they are all healthy, they look really good. They won on the glass against Brooklyn 51-31. We all saw Brooklyn in person a couple weeks ago, Brooklyn is not small. That’s a heck of an accomplishment."
- EAST MEASURING-STICK STRETCH: Over a three-game stretch, Boston will see the Pistons, Wizards and Pacers -- three almost surefire Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Celtics let a win slip away against Detroit, and now will get a chance to see where they stack up against Washington and Indiana as part of this back-to-back before a five-day Christmas break. "Washington with everybody healthy, they are playing great basketball," said Courtney Lee. "Then going into Indiana, another one of the top teams in the East. I think both of these games are a good test for us."
- WHAT ELSE? After kicking away a 21-point lead against the Pistons, including a lackluster start to the second half, Gerald Wallace said the team needs more consistency. "We gotta play 48 minutes," said Wallace. "I think the third quarter has been our enemy the last couple games. We’ve had slow starts in the third quarter. We gotta come out and start the second half on a good note." ... The Wizards rank 21st in offensive rating, 17th in defensive rating and 20th in net rating. ... Washington is a top-10 team on the defensive glass, ranking ninth overall. For the month of December, the Wizards are actually the top rebounding team in the league, sitting first in both defensive and total rebound percentages.
(Read full game preview)