The Washington Wizards were a different team in their second game of the season as they defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 113-106. The performance was more dominant than the scoreline indicated as the Wizards led the entire game. Coach Wes Unseld Jr. was happy with the overall showing:
"“Defense was much better. Just overall disposition was better. You could tell guys were locked in. It wasn’t perfect, but I thought we were in the right spots most of the night, and when you do that, you give yourself a chance.”"
The Grizzlies were short-handed and were on the second leg of a back-to-back, so they were perhaps not the toughest of challenges. But, the dominant fashion in which the Wizards won was impressive regardless of the competition.
Now, Washington is about to face the toughest competition in the league. The Boston Celtics, who started the season 2-0 against two playoff teams and are trying to extend their win streak, are visiting Capital One Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup tonight.
Kristaps Porzingis, who was traded to the Boston Celtics from Washington last summer, started the season red-hot from the field, averaging 23.5 points on 52% shooting from the field and 47% from three. The Wizards will have their hands full with him, especially if Gafford, who is questionable to play with an ankle injury, doesn’t suit up.
Porzingis is only one of the weapons in a loaded Boston Celtics offense. Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and the newest addition Jrue Holiday will present plenty of challenges to the Wizards’ defense. The undersized backcourt duo of Jordan Poole and Tyus Jones will have tough matchups all night against the physical Boston starting five.
The Celtics don’t have many weaknesses on the other end either. It will be tough for Washington to score efficiently against Boston’s starters, so they need to take advantage of the weak Celtics bench.
The way for the Wizards to be competitive in this game will be through the bench units. If Corey Kispert can pick up where he left off last game, and Danilo Gallinari can continue his bench scoring against his former team, the Wizards may have a shot.
Playing the right way with good discipline, effort, and energy is all the fans can ask for against a team like the Celtics. Let’s hope the Wizards can deliver on the court.
Wizards: Daniel Gafford – questionable, Landry Shamet – out
Projected Wizards rotation
Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Deni Avdija, and Kyle Kuzma should continue to start. If Gafford is ready to go, he will get the nod to start. Otherwise, Mike Muscala is likely to start.
Delon Wright, Corey Kispert, Bilal Coulibaly, and Danilo Gallinari should be coming off the bench, with Taj Gibson potentially playing if Gafford is out.
Projected Celtics rotation
Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kristaps Porzingis will start for Boston.
Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser, and Al Horford will almost certainly get minutes off the bench, with Oshae Brissett and Luke Kornet potentially rounding out the rest of the rotation.
The Celtics are favored -10.5 over the Washington Wizards.