The Washington Wizards look to improve their 1-5 record on Wednesday night with the Boston Celtics in town. Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch…
WASHINGTON WIZARDS vs. BOSTON CELTICS
Where: Verizon Center
Tip-off: 7 p.m.
TV: CSN (coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Live stream: CSNmidatlantic.com
Radio: 1500 AM
Three things to watch...
Wall vs. Thomas
Wednesday night will feature an intriguing matchup at point guard with John Wall facing off with fellow All-Star Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics. Wall is off to a strong start this season, averaging 21.8 points, 9.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. Thomas is also playing well early this year with 26.2 points and 6.8 assists per game.
In talking to Wizards head coach Scott Brooks this week, one thing stood out about Thomas in particular. Brooks is amazed by Thomas' ability to get off shots at his size (he's listed at 5-foot-9): "He's as tough and quick and as aggressive as any point guard in this league. He's an All-Star for a reason because he brings it every night. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense. He attacks and he plays down-hill a lot. He has such a great release. He has a release, for being a little guy, that you can't get to it. He doesn't get his shot blocked often."
Here is what Wall said about Thomas at Wednesday's shootaround:
"He’s always been the same player. He’s always been good. I think he’s with a team now that lets him play his game. He’s the main threat. He’s making shots and plays for everybody else. The team is going to go as far as you let him. He’s done a great job leading them guys.”
4th quarter defense
Ask Wizards players and coach Brooks what has plagued them most through their 1-5 start and many will point to their fourth quarter defense. Many of their losses have been in winnable games that they let slip through their fingers in the final minutes. No team in basketball has allowed a higher opponent's field goal percentage in the fourth quarter than the Wizards (53.6%) this season.
The Wizards have also been very poor at shooting in the fourth quarter, with a 38.2 field goal percentage, fifth-worst in the league. The Celtics, conversely, are very good in the fourth quarter with the second-best shooting percentage (49.6).
Horford, Crowder out
The Wizards will not see the Boston Celtics at full strength as both Al Horford and Jae Crowder will sit out due to injuries. Horford is a perennial All-Star and joined the Celtics after there was mutual interest between him and the Wizards this past summer in free agency. Crowder played a lot of minutes for the 48-win Celtics last season and is a difficult matchup with his athleticism and strength at the small forward position.
We'll see if the Wizards can take advantage of an injury-hampered team. They were not able to do that in Memphis two weekends ago.