The Celtics defeated the Wizards tonight in Boston by a score of 107 to 96.
Many Wizard fans were particularly excited for tonight’s game to see how Jordan Crawford, who recently stated he did not remember playing for the Wizards, would perform against the team he thinks he never played for. The former Wizard they should have been paying attention to proved to be Summer League stalwart, Shavlik Randolph. Randolph, who averaged 30 and 15 in China and attributed it all to the Wizards, proved to be the real former-Wizard threat, going for 8 and 7 in only 15 minutes and being labeled the second best big on the court for the Celtics by Celticsblog’s Evan Clinchy. It’s hard to argue that point. Randolph was great in his limited role and the Wizards were relatively lost all night.
The Celtics came out pushing the pace, which played right into John Wall’s frantic hands, as he finished the first quarter with 10 points. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t score again until the very last play of the third quarter. While this game looked more like the first 2.5 years of John Wall, it was still an impressive game. His passing was crisp; his handle tight; and he orchestrated the offense as best he could against a defense that played great as a team. It would be easy to chalk up Wall’s 8-20 night to an excellent defender on the other side in Avery Bradley, but it really was a team effort through and through.
The referees were particularly unforgiving to Wall in this game, allowing him no attempts at the free throw line. This was not all refereeing, however. The team defense, as mentioned, was incredible, and Wall settled for jumpers on 12 of his 20 attempted field goals. The team as a whole took only 12, tied for 10th least on the season. In November of this year, the Wizards attempted only seven against Boston. This is all quite odd considering the Celtics have given up the 6th most free throws in the NBA so far this year.
Tonight was one part Shavlik Randolph, one part no calls on John Wall, one part Brandon Bass, and many parts bad Wizard teammates. With invisible performances from Emeka Okafor and Nene, John was forced to do a lot on his own. That has been the case a lot recently, and, so far, he has handled that weight extremely well. There’s no reason to expect a few old-John games on bad shooting won’t occur when this team’s two leading scorers prior to his return, Crawford and Bradley Beal, are missing from Wizard action. Crawford once asked the rhetorical question of “Who else gon’ shoot?” Wall can ask the exact same question right now, and I don’t blame him. He may not be a score first PG, but he’s acting like it. And why not? After all, who else is going to shoot?