Washington Wizards

'Effort wasn't there' for Celtics in loss to Wizards

'Effort wasn't there' for Celtics in loss to Wizards

The Boston Celtics offense is going to be challenged in the playoffs, regardless of the opponent. 

And defensively, they’re sure to have some ups and downs as well. 

But what really stood out in Boston’s loss to the Wizards was what seemed like an overall effort lacking what we’ve seen most nights from the Celtics. 

During Brad Stevens’ postgame press conference, he made multiple references to the Celtics’ effort and compete level not being where it should be.

“We didn’t have a tremendous effort on our part at either end,” Stevens said. “Our offense is going to be what it is. You’re gonna have moments where you score, where you don’t score, where you’re feeling good, where you’re not, whatever. Defensively, we can’t be a sieve either.”

Boston’s Terry Rozier said the team’s effort was the most disappointing part of Tuesday’s loss, their fourth in the last five games. 

“We knew how important this game is, finish up our last two games going into the playoffs,” Rozier told reporters after the loss. “The effort wasn’t there.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 113-101 loss at Washington. 

 

STARS

John Wall: The Celtics never really had him under control at any point on Tuesday which paved the way for a potential triple-double as Wall finished with 29 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. 

Jaylen Brown: From the outset, Brown was seemingly up to the challenge of carrying the team. He led Boston with 27 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field. 

 

STUDS

Bradley Beal: This was not one of Bradley Beal’s better games, but he made enough plays when it mattered. He had 19 points on 6-for-16 shooting. 

 

DUDS

Terry Rozier: Tuesday night was yet another rough outing for Rozier, tallying just eight points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field. 

Marcus Morris: Morris has become a reliable scorer for the Celtics of late, and the Celtics will need more of the same to have a legit shot at advancing through the playoffs. Against the Wizards, he was just 2-for-10 shooting as he finished with six points.

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Brown drops 27, but Celtics fall to Wizards, 113-101

Brown drops 27, but Celtics fall to Wizards, 113-101

BOSTON – One of the big concerns about the Boston Celtics heading into the playoffs has to do with scoring; specifically, where will the points come from now that Kyrie Irving is gone for the season. 

If Celtics fans weren’t concerned before, they should be now after Boston’s second-half collapse offensively against the Wizards whose second half surge propelled Washington to a 113-101 win. 

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 27 points – 20 in the first quarter – while the Wizards were led by John Wall who had a double-double of 29 points and 11 assists along with seven rebounds.

With the win, Washington (43-38) remains very much alive as a potential first-round opponent of Celtics (54-27). 

And as we saw on Tuesday, Washington would be a tough playoff opponent for a Boston team that will be significantly undermanned in its first-round playoff series. 

But the Celtics came out strong, looking very much like a team looking to put the Wizards away early.

Boston opened the game looking for the 3-ball, with Brown leading the way. 

The second-year wing delivered a first-rate performance in the first quarter, scoring almost as many points (20) as the entire Washington team which trailed Boston 30-22 after the first quarter. 

Washington played a much better brand of basketball in the second quarter as they gradually chipped away at Boston’s lead and eventually took a brief 40-39 lead following a 3-pointer by Wall. 

But Boston bounced back with an 8-0 run only for the Wizards to chip away at the Celtics’ lead which stood at 54-52 at the half.

Washington, fueled by Wall, began to play with the promise that had many believing they would be one of the top teams in the East this season. 

Instead, they spent Tuesday night trying to avoid a fifth-straight loss that would have locked them into being the eighth seed. 

Washington spent most of the third playing ahead before eventually taking a 79-72 lead into the fourth.

And as the fourth quarter rolled around, Boston could not put together enough stops or knock down enough shots to mount any kind of comeback. 

Boston’s defense wasn’t great, but overall they did enough to be competitive. But Boston’s poor shooting doomed their chances at success. 

And with no Irving (left knee surgery) coming through the door anytime soon for Boston, the Celtics lost more than a game on Tuesday. 

They may have moved the needle closer to facing the Wizards in the first round, a matchup that of all the potential first-round foes (Miami and Milwaukee are the other possible opponents) may prove to be the most daunting.

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Morris twins want no part of each other in playoffs

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AP Photo

Morris twins want no part of each other in playoffs

We’ve heard from  Celtics forward Marcus Morris about not wanting to play the Wizards and his twin brother Markieff in the first round of the playoffs. 
 
Markieff has now chimed in, doing what twins do in echoing similar sentiments about facing the Celtics. 
 
Well, a Celtics win tonight over the Wizards will go a long way towards ensuring that both players get their wish granted. 
 
A victory by Boston tonight over Washington (42-38), combined with a win for Miami and Milwaukee, would lock the Wizards into being the eighth seed in the playoffs, where they would open up against the Toronto Raptors.
 
“If it was my choice, I would say no,” Markieff told reporters when asked about playing against his brother and the Celtics. “But at the end of the day, man, you can’t pick and choose who we want to play. So it is what it is.”
 
The intensity level required to win in the playoffs is indeed of a higher quality than what we see in the regular season. 
 
Ratcheting that up is never easy, but presents an even greater challenge when it has to be done against someone who knows you better than anyone else. 
 
“We’re going to war and when I go out there, like I tell him, ‘it’s war time.’ It’s like fighting for your life out here and I would hate for it to be my brother and it’s the first round? To have to be that bully to my brother when I know it’s going to be like the same.”
 
Here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on as Boston closes out the road portion of their schedule tonight at Washington.  
 
THE MONTH OF APRIL
 
Boston has even more incentive to try and finish out the regular season playing well. The Celtics need to win their last two games in order to avoid a losing record for the month of April. Boston hasn’t had a losing month of play since going 5-11 in January of 2015. 
 
The 3-POINT SHOT
 
The 3-point shot is still a big part of what the Celtics want to do on a night-in, night-out basis. But lately, it hasn’t been nearly as central to what they do. In the last 13 games, 30 percent of Boston’s shot attempts have been 30 pointers, which ranks just 24th in the league during that span. In the first 67 games, 37 percent of Boston’s shot attempts were from 3-point range which ranked sixth in the league. 
 
ROOKIES
 
Despite having a team with deep playoff aspirations, the Celtics found themselves counting on rookies -- and it hasn’t just been Jayson Tatum.
 
Boston has gotten 1,848 points from its rookies which ranks fourth in the NBA this season. Meanwhile, the Wizards are dead-last among all rookies for in every statistical category when it comes to rookies because they didn’t play any this year. 
 
DEFENSIVE RATING
 
April has not been a good month for the Celtics, particularly when it relates to their defense. Boston’s defensive rating for the season is 101.5, a far cry from where its been in recent games. 
 
In April, Boston’s defensive rating has slipped to 107.1, which ranks 19th in the league. But as bad as the Celtics have been, they face a team tonight that has been even worst, as the Wizards come in as the 29th.
  
ROAD WARRIORS
 
This will be the fourth and final meeting between these two teams with each game leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. The road team has emerged with a win in each instance. 

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