Stars, studs and duds: Wizards 'got whatever they wanted' on offense

Stars, studs and duds: Wizards 'got whatever they wanted' on offense

“They got whatever they wanted on the offensive end.” – Jae Crowder.

He was speaking following Tuesday’s 123-108 loss at Washington, but the sentiment could have been for any number of games we’ve seen the Celtics play this season.


They talk about being a team that’s defensive-oriented. But what we’ve seen this season is a team that looks more disoriented defensively while one roster after another seems to light them up in a nightly basis.

And the Wizards loss ranks among the worst of the season, and it’s not just because Washington shot 57.8 percent against them which is the best shooting percentage any team has had aginst Boston this season.

The Wizards made it absolutely crystal clear that the Celtics would get their best shot, and that shot would – from a basketball sense – bury them.

And you know what?

They were right.

The Wizards backed up their talk with the kind of smackdown that we have not seen administered to a Brad Stevens-coached team.

It was the kind of loss that raises questions about the mental and physical toughness of this team, things that haven’t been questioned in the past.

“Every guy is on an island,” Crowder said when asked about Boston’s defense. “We don’t talk enough.”

And that lack of communication has made them a soft team that no one fears.

Marcus Smart was asked about whether they were a tough team this season.

“No we’re not and that’s the problem,” Smart said. “Everybody on this team has had moments. Last year we were the team guys hated to play against. Everybody wants to play us (now) because we’re not doing what we used to do on the defensive end.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Tuesday’s game



Bradley Beal

He was the architect of Washington’s all-black look on Tuesday, and his play left the Celtics feeling quite blue when all was said and done. He led all scorers with 31 points on 12-for-18 shooting to go with five assists.

Isaiah Thomas

He has had more efficient nights shooting the ball, but there was no mistaking he once again made a huge impact on the game for Boston. He led the Celtics with a double-double of 25 points and 13 assists.

John Wall

After scoring just nine points when these two met a couple weeks ago, Wall bounced back with a strong showing on Tuesday with 27 points on 11-for-20 shooting to go with seven rebounds and seven assists.



Al Horford

He didn’t stretch the floor as much as the Celtics would have liked, but offensively at least, it was a solid all-around performance for Horford. He finished with 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting but only grabbed two rebounds – not good enough if you’re a starting center who played more than 33 minutes.

Marcin Gortat

The Polish Hammer continues to batter the Celtics seemingly every time they meet. He had 16 points primarily diving to the basket on pick-and-rolls for lay-ups and dunks which explains why he was 7-for-8 from the field.

Markieff Morris

He was one of the many Washington starters who stepped up to play well, tallying a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds with four assists.



Celtics defense

As easy as it may be to blame their struggles on not having Avery Bradley (right Achilles), Boston’s problems defensively are much deeper than just missing a player even one as valuable as Bradley. The Wizards are good, but even without Bradley they should not have shot 57.8 percent from the field. Boston plays with no force, no toughness and if that doesn’t change, they’ll have no shot of making any noise come playoff time.

Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

Greg Monroe looks comfortable as bigger offensive focal point

BOSTON – Jayson Tatum dropped 23 points, snatched 11 rebounds and Boston’s injury-riddled roster squeaked out a 100-99 upset win over Oklahoma City.

It was a good game for Tatum, but teammate Marcus Morris wasn’t moved one bit by Tatum’s historical performance.

“Now it’s not. … I’m not even impressed no more,” Morris said. “It’s to the point where I know what he’s going to bring, I know what he’s capable of. So it’s more like, I expect that now just being around, watching him play day-in and day-out, practicing with him.”

Teammates agree that the 20-year-old Tatum is growing up right before our eyes.

“With Jaylen and Kyrie being out, he’s looking to be more aggressive,” said Boston’s Al Horford. “Everybody is going to talk about offense, but on the defensive end he didn’t have an easy matchup, going against Paul George. I felt like he did a great job.”

Here are five other takeaways from Boston’s 100-99 comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Boston’s second unit is still getting the job done even as injuries rob it of its core group that includes Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier who are now both starters. The Celtics’ new-look second unit was still impactful in Boston’s 100-99 squeaker past the Oklahoma City Thunder. Against the Thunder, Boston’s bench outscored Oklahoma City 35-10.


The big man continues to come up big for the Boston Celtics off the bench. Injuries have forced other key reserves into the starting lineup which has led to Monroe becoming an even bigger focal point offensively when he’s on the floor. Against the Thunder, he had 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting with six rebounds.


You never really know what you’re going to get from the Boston Celtics when it comes to rebounding the basketball. Well, Tuesdaynight was the good rebounding Celtics whose ability to control the glass was a huge factor in the victory as Boston out-rebounded Oklahoma City 52-44.


Remember how Marcus Smart would struggle to make shots, and still play major minutes and still make a meaningful impact? Well, Semi Ojeleye had that kind of game for the Celtics. The 6-foot-6 rookie missed all six of his field goal attempts, but showed some serious versatility against the Thunder with defensive stints on each of Oklahoma City’s Big Three of Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook.


Marcus Morris made the game-winner and Jayson Tatum was as strong on the floor as we’ve ever seen him. But arguably the biggest X-factor in Boston’s win was the play of Larkin. His ability to control the flow of the game, getting his teammates in and out of sets was critical to the win, as was his offense. For the game, Larking had 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field.

NBA: Congrats to the Celtics on the win, but they for sure should not have won

File Photo

NBA: Congrats to the Celtics on the win, but they for sure should not have won

The NBA officials' Last Two Minute report for Tuesday is out, and boy did the Celtics get away with one!

The league admitted to missing two infractions -- both committed by Marcus Morris -- on the possession on which Morris hit a game-winning three-pointer against the Thunder. 

The C's began the possession with Morris inbounding the ball, but a stopwatch revealed to the league that Morris did not release the ball within the five seconds allotted on an inbounding play. Had the correct call been made, the ball would have been turned over to the Thunder, who at the time held a two-point lead with 7.7 seconds remaining. 

Furthermore, video replay led the league to determine that Morris traveled prior to taking the shot. The video evidence that suggested this was that Morris was wearing an NBA jersey in the video, but also he moved his pivot foot prior to the release of his dribble. That call would have also given the Thunder the ball. 

What these nerds didn't consider is that the basketball gods have more power than their stopwatches. What a win.