Opening Statements: Wizards vs Celtics, Game 75
Revenge seems like the one thing that kinda/sorta gets the Wizards’ juices flowing, sometimes.
NBA players have good memories (despite what the mannerisms of one Trevor Ariza might have you believe), so you’ll often hear (at least at times from the Wiz Kids this season), “We ‘owe’ team X because they previously beat us on Y date.”
Thusly, a Dec. 13 Wizards loss to the Hawks in Atlanta became a Wizards win in Atlanta on Feb. 19. A loss to Cleveland in D.C. on Nov. 16 became a win in Cleveland on Nov. 20 (then a loss to the Cavs in D.C. on Feb. 7 became a win in Cleveland on Feb. 23). And a loss to the Warriors in Washington on Jan. 5 became a Wizards win in Golden State on Jan. 28.
There are other examples, including those in the opposite direction. The Wizards beat the Bobcats in Charlotte on Jan. 7 but then lost the next two meetings—at Charlotte on Mar. 12 and in Washington just the other day.
This intro leads us to the fact that the Wizards beat the Celtics in Boston way back on Dec. 21 (giving Washington a 12-13 record), but then embarrassingly lost to Boston in Washington on Jan. 22 (dropping the Wiz to 20-21). That night, Phil Pressey (20 points) continued to the trend of small guards giving John Wall trouble while former Georgetown Hoya, Jeff Green, put up 39 points. Wall put up 28 points of his own, but a loss is a loss.
Tonight, unlike in the last meeting, both Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley are healthy and expected to be in the lineup. The Celtics have lost five games in a row and have won just one out of their past 11 games… But this, as you know, follower of Wizards wizardry, isn’t going to be a cake walk. No matter how much the Wizards think they owe Boston and no matter how much the Wiz Kittens are licking their wounds after losing out to Battle Cats in Charlotte (and failing to clinch a playoff spot) on Monday.
Let’s do this.
Teams: Wizards vs Celtics
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Radio: WFED-AM 1500/THE FAN-FM 106.7
Spread: Wizards fav’d by 8 points
Wizards tickets … anyone?
Click to get them served up for cheap via TiqIQ and TAI.
Q #1: So are you going to tell me that the MVP of this season’s Celtics is Brandon Bass? (He does have the most win shares, after all.) Or….?
@MichaelVPina: This is sort of like asking “What’s the healthiest item on McDonalds’s dollar menu?” Or comparing public restrooms. The Celtics don’t really have a Most Valuable Player this season, but their peak performer is probably Jared Sullinger, who won an Eastern Conference Player of the Week, is second on the team in PER, and was once likened to Kevin Love by Roy Hibbert. Sullinger is also shooting 25 percent from the 3-point line. This question makes me sad.
Q #2: We all know that Lakers fans are ‘the worst.’ And that Knicks fans … well, I’m happy for them and their continued experiences. But Celtics fans? How have they dealt with such a suddenly down season, and how have those feelings evolved over the course of the schedule?
@MichaelVPina: It’s tough speaking for everyone, but at the same time it’s also difficult not to see the good in losing. The only losses I didn’t enjoy were lopsided blowouts and games against the Lakers. The only two wins I was legitimately thrilled over came against the Miami Heat.
But it’s all about development: watching Avery Bradley improve his jumper, Jared Sullinger hone his touch around the rim, and Kelly Olynyk flash respectability before our eyes has been fun. That’s the stuff fans should smile about when thinking over this horrible season.
Q #3: Odds that Rajon Rondo will be a Celtic next season.
Like, as legitimate and unbiased as possible odds.
Not ‘Rondo has been drinking the Kool-Aid and is the happiest he’s ever been. In fact, he’s broken his career-high in-season smiles record with four. In fact, I saw Rondo babysit Brad Stevens’ kids the other day. At one point the son got out of line and I thought Rondo was going to spank him, but he actually handled it like a wise old granpda’ odds.
@MichaelVPina: 90 percent. There aren’t any legitimate buyers on the market, and it doesn’t make sense to “blow up” the team any further than it already is. Boston is looking for All-Star talent in their prime or headed there, so why would they move their only player who’s legitimately that? And what are they looking for in return that’s realistically coming back? Andre Drummond? Boston has more draft picks than they know what to do with, so Rondo stays.
Q #4: Future Celtics Power Rankings of Those Who You Think Will Be On The Roster By The End of Next Season (#1-5).
5. Kris Humphries
4. Avery Bradley
3. Jared Sullinger
2. Kelly Olynyk
1. Rajon Rondo
Q #5: Which member of the Celtics would you….
- Let pick out your wardrobe for an entire week? Rondo
- Let take your dad on a fishing trip using a dingy in treacherous waters? Gerald Wallace
- Star in a buddy cop movie with? Kris Humphries
- Ride cross-country with while being chauffeured by Jordan Crawford? Olynyk
- Let do your TPS reports? Rondo