Washington Wizards 2019-2020 Season Preview: Boston Celtics

Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr Jaylen Brown (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr Jaylen Brown (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics are another team featuring plenty of new personnel. How do the Washington Wizards stack up against this Eastern Conference rival?

Boston lost: Kyrie Irving, AL HORFORD, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris

Boston added: Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, Vincent Poirier, Kaiser Gates, Tacko Fall

With Bradley Beal’s extension signed, and the Washington Wizards focused on a competitive season, matchups against the Boston Celtics will prove to be crucial. They were already an Eastern Conference contender before adding All-Star point guard Kemba Walker in free agency.

How will the Wizards manage games against Boston, in their race to the playoffs?

With Walker at the helm, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on a continuous incline, the Celtics will be one of the Wizards’ tougher Eastern Conference opponents this season.

One advantage? They’re no longer home to Kyrie Irving or Al Horford, the latter often dubbed the Celtics’ best player during his tenure in Boston. Without them, it’ll take big leaps from both Tatum and Brown to support the hype surrounding this 2019-2020 Celtics team. While Walker may be the All-Star addition, the Celtics may only go as far as their two young wings can take them.

Against Washington last year, the two forwards combined to average 25 points and 13 rebounds over two matchups. Considering Beal can put those numbers up on his own, Boston’s depth will be tested in these games.

Wizards to Watch

Isaiah Thomas is the only Wizards player to watch here. The best years of his nine-year career were as a Boston Celtic, where he peaked as a top-5 candidate for the league’s MVP award. Thomas was a one-man wrecking crew in two consecutive seasons for Boston.

He averaged 24.7 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.0 steal per game in 179 games with the Celtics.

Revenge game? Thomas hasn’t necessarily had a chance for one since he was traded from Boston to Cleveland. The 30-year old point guard hasn’t been healthy since injuring himself in the playoffs back in 2017. So all games back in Boston were either DNPs or injured absences for Thomas.

Now with Washington, and (mostly) healthy, the point guard has a chance to do what’s gone entirely unaccomplished.

Whether it’s about revenge or not; Thomas will have another chance to prove why General Manager Danny Ainge should have “backed up the Brinks truck” instead of sacrificing the guard for two years of Irving. And he’ll get four chances to do so this year.

2019-20 Game Predictions

November 13th, 2019: Isaiah Thomas returns to Boston (again)

In the first of four matchups with the Celtics, the Wizards will take advantage of a freshly signed and encouraged Bradley Beal, on top of inevitable disorder to come with the Boston roster.

This early in the year for a new Celtics team will see Washington capture a series win.

January 6th in Washington

At this point in the year, teams have worked out any kinks, and adjusted to the new faces. Boston will be in full swing, potentially lead by a breakout year from Tatum, Brown, or both. Still, Washington will be amidst a five-game home stand. They’ll stand their ground in a big win.

March 13th in Boston

It’s hard to see the Wizards giving up a series-clinching game, right in the middle of their playoff push, to a Boston team returning from Milwaukee on the second night of a back-to-back. Wizards take a 3-0 series lead, and continue their postseason efforts.

March 23rd in Washington

In efforts to push his team to the playoffs, and avoid a series sweep, look for a Kemba Walker explosion come this final Eastern Conference matchup. Last year, the point guard averaged 23.9 points, 6.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game in March of last season.

Next. Washington Wizards Season Preview: LA Clippers. dark

Including a 38-point barrage in an overtime win against the San Antonio Spurs.

Boston hangs onto their dignity, and hopes of hosting their playoff series as part of the top-four seeds with a big win over Washington.