Regular Season Game 81
Celtics (54-26) at Wizards (42-38)
April 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM Capital One Arena | Washington, D.C.
Radio: 1500 AM
(Photo: Patrick McDermott via Getty Images)
What to Watch:
Playoff Series Preview
If the Washington Wizards are able to get back into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference standings, they will play the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs in a rematch of last year’s thrilling second round matchup. On Tuesday, Boston will be without Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart, which is the same situation they will be in during the first round, which could make the desire to play the Celtics hire than one might think. Washington was barely able to knock of a depleted Boston team at TD Garden, but may overall matchup better with this year’s team without Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder.
Terry Rozier vs. John Wall
In his last 12 games as a starter, Rozier has been averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 33.3 minuters per game. Those numbers are incredible for a thrid string point guard pushed into a starting role, but is only shooting 37.9 percent from the field despite shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc. Rozier dropped 33 points on 12-for-16 shooting against Sacramento a couple weeks ago, but is otherwise shooting 34 percent in his other 11 games as a starter over the past month. Wall will be playing his fourth game since returning from left knee surgery and will need to ensure Rozier does not have a strong offensive game and work him out on the defensive end.
Selfish or Selfless?
After the Wizards lost an embarrasing game to the tanking Atlanta Hawks, Scott Brooks used his postgame press conference to send a message to his players by calling the squad a selfish basketball team. After a film session instead of practice where the coaching staff pointed out how the team has been playing lately compared to the proper way in the past, Washington can come out and learn from their mistakes or continue to play a poor brand of basketball. Wall has said that this team cannot simply flick on a switch once the playoffs begin and play to their potential so it is imperative that they get a head start and build some momentum over these last two games starting with Boston.
Markieff and Marcus Morris are identical twins that are about as close as humanly possible. They both went to Kansas, were selected one after another in the NBA draft, and have the exact same tatoos on their bodies. In seperate games miles away, both were ejected from their respective games. Marcus has admitted that he does not want to play Washington in the first round because then the two brothers have to bully each other on the court. Markieff, who concurred about not wanting to play his brother, previously revealed that as kids he was the backbone, while Marcus was the talker, so the Wizards may be at an advantage if the two had to bully each other.
Losing is never fun. Especially when you blow a great opportunity to build some momentum and shut up some critics with a big win against the back-to-back-to-back defending Eastern Conference champs. With that being said, look for the Wizards to take their frustrations out on the court against the Hawks Friday night as Washington wins big in this one.