Washington Wizards: Bulletin board material for the ‘Battle of the Duos’

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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Washington Wizards Jayson Tatum. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Jayson Tatum. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics: Who Wins and Why?

Pat: As great as the young Celtics duo has played this season, they seem to have trouble controlling the game’s tempo. When you watch the real greats play, they are in total control over the offense, defense, officials, coaches, opposing coaches, and, once upon a time in a world before COVID-19, the fans. This young Celtics duo struggles with controlling all aspects of the game, but I believe that will come with time.

Kemba Walker’s return will be huge for the Celtics as he’ll be able to take some pressure off Tatum and Brown and impact the game without stuffing the state sheet. In the meantime, keep an eye on Payton Pritchard. He has played significant minutes this season for a rookie and has carved out a role for himself. The four-year Oregon starter plays with a tremendous calmness for a rookie, never losing his dribble or playing too fast, or missing his reads. If the Celtics want to pull out this victory, Pritchard’s play will be the catalyst. Brown, Tatum, and Smart will do what they do, but the role players will be the deciding factor. I am picking the Celtics to win this game because they seem to finally understand these are the games great teams don’t lose. The Celtics have had a string of physical road games – Miami, Toronto, and a two-game series with Detroit – so this seems like a game where the C’s could be caught slipping. But my prediction is that the Celtics pull it out with a late third-quarter run to separate themselves from the Wizards. Celtics by 12.

Jose: This game lies in the hands of the X-Factor, Marcus Smart. Not only will he be tasked with slowing down Beal but, with Kemba still out, he’ll have to be the primary ball-handler as well. Even if Westbrook finds a way to play this game after dislocating his finger, I think this young Celtics’ team finds a way to overcome their early-season inconsistencies and pull out a tough win against a team that’s better than their record suggests

Ethan: The Wizards — without Beal, Hachimura, and Bertans — took down the Tatum-Brown duo last season, so never say never. Unfortunately, though, I see the Wizards dropping their seventh game of the season when they take on Boston. Westbrook is day to day after dislocating his finger towards the end of the loss to Philly. Although the Wizards have gotten one of their two wins without him, that was vs. the Karl- Anthony Towns-less Minnesota Timberwolves…not the Boston Celtics. Even if the Wizards do have Westbrook, they’re the obvious underdogs against one of the East’s better teams. The Celtics are off to a slow start and are still without Kemba Walker. They’re not without their weaknesses. And as long as Bradley Beal is on the floor, the Wizards have a chance. But I think the Celtics will be too much for a Wizards team that’s still yet to find their identity. What say you, Ron?

Ron: I feel you, man. My heart says Wizards but my mind reasons Celtics. Although the Wizards can score at will, it is still yet to be known whether the team will get enough stops to weather the inevitable scoring droughts. Why? The defense is struggling.

Four years have passed since the seven-game playoff series, but I’m hoping that some lingering animosity propels the Wizards to the win. Wizards by five.