Boston Celtics at Washington Wizards Preview
The Boston Celtics will be on the road tonight looking to extend their winning streak in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. with a matchup against the Wizards.
The Celtics are second in the Eastern Conference with a 25-8 record. They have won their last three consecutive games and are 8-2 in their last ten games. Boston is 11-6 on the road this season. The Wizards are 11-24 as they sit at 12th in the East. They enter tonight’s game having won their most recent game. They are 3-7 in their last 10 games. Washington is just 6-10 at home this season.
In their last matchup this season, the Celtics escaped with a 140-133 win in a high-scoring affair. Bradley Beal had 44 points in the game, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics, led by Kemba Walker’s 25 points, won at home.
The injury report is quite lengthy for this game, but the Wizards are hoping to have Beal back. They’ll need him to counter Boston’s attach with Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Gordon Hayward.
Time: 7 PM ET
Arena: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
Channel: NBCSB, NBCSWA
Celtics: Romeo Langford (Q), Robert Williams III, Kemba Walker (O)
Wizards: Bradley Beal, Ian Mahinmi (Q), Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, Thomas Bryant, Moritz Wagner, CJ Miles, John Wall (O)
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Against the Bulls on Saturday, Boston won every quarter except the fourth, but they had built up enough of a lead to secure the win. With Kemba Walker out, Enes Kanter was key off the bench, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes.
“If you look at the league, there’s not many big men left playing with their back to the basket,” Kanter said. “But hey, I love that tough, back-to-the-basket game — rebounds, just like the old days.”
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics in scoring with 28 points. Gordon Hayward has played very well lately and came through with 24 points, while Jaylen Brown added 19 points and seven rebounds.
Washington Wizards Preview Starting Lineup
The Wizards were able to bookend a surprising loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday with two big wins. They beat the Miami Heat 123-105 last Monday and topped the Portland Trail Blazers 122-103 on Friday.
In a game where Washington’s patchwork starting unit struggled to score, scraping together just 27 total points, although Isaiah Thomas only played one minute before being ejected. But the second unit came in and made their presence felt.
“It’s the way we want to play. We want to play with pace, we want to play with a flow. No matter who we’re plugging in, that’s the way we want to play,” guard Ish Smith said. “These are opportunities for all of us to play well and step up and hold down the fort. Then when the rest of the guys come in, that makes it obviously even better.”
Jordan McRae led the team in scoring with 35 points. Garrison Matthews had 18 and Smith did what he has done all season and stepped up when the Wizards have needed him, contributing 16 points and five assists.
The level of competition will be much higher tonight so they’ll need a similar effort from their bench, but they’ll need more from their starters to find a way to complete.
Key Player Matchups
Jaylen Brown vs. Bradley Beal
Beal is having a standout season, averaging 27.8 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He is day-to-day and questionable tonight. Before becoming sidelined, he had put together three straight 3o-plus point games. Brown is one of the better two-way players in the league. He is enjoying a career year across the board, showing he was worthy of his contract extension.
Marcus Smart vs. Isaiah Thomas
The Celtics have the luxury of having a player of Smart’s caliber to plug in with Walker out. He’s a scrappy defensive player, distributor and can get his own offense. Thomas is having a nice bounce-back season after spending last season with Denver, but he’s still obviously nowhere near the player he was before his injury and his days in Boston.
Jaylen Brown and Bradley Beal are fantasy standouts for tonight’s game. He’s available for $7.4k on FanDuel and has a projection of 43.8 points. Beal has a salary of $8.5k and is projected to score 41.8 fantasy points.
Smart is a nice value option at $5.2k with a projection of 27.3 points. Ish Smith is a good option off the bench for the Wizards. He is salaried at $5.7k with a projection of 23.9 points.
Bet on Matchup
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