Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Kelly Oubre, Jr. and the Washington Wizards battle Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
Here is all you need to know: TV, live stream and radio info, tip-off time, plus three things to watch:
WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT BOSTON CELTICS
Where: TD Garden
Tip-off: 8 p.m.
TV: ESPN (pregame coverage begins on NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m.)
Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: 1500 AM
All of the injuries
The Boston Celtics are dealing with a crazy amount of injuries at the moment. When they play the Wizards, they will be without Jaylen Brown (concussion), Al Horford (illness), Marcus Smart (right thumb sprain) and Daniel Theis (left knee meniscal tear). Kyrie Irving is considered questionable with left knee soreness and Gordon Hayward is of course out with an ankle fracture.
That's a ton of players missing. If Irving can't go, they will be without four of their top five rotation players in terms of minutes played. They will have to rely heavily on rookie Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier. Those are talented guys, but the Celtics will be thin at a lot of positions.
In need of a win
Just because the Celtics are down so many players does not mean the Wizards are guaranteed a victory. They have made a habit recently of losing to depleted teams. They were blown out by the Heat on Saturday night without Hassan Whiteside and fell to the Timberwolves on Tuesday without Jimmy Butler. The Celtics and Brad Stevens have surprised opponents before.
The Wizards have lost five of their last seven games overall. Though they haven't lost much ground in the playoff race, they haven't taken advantage of opportunities to move up, either. They have to stop the bleeding and soon. Playing a Celtics team missing lots of key players is a chance to get a much-needed win and they have to take advantage.
Stop the ball
The Wizards have been plagued by defensive breakdowns in recent games that have led to an inordinate amount of paint points. They gave up 76 to the Heat and 64 to the Wolves. They have allowed 60 or more points in the paint in four straight games despite the fact their opponents average just 45.6 per game.
The Wizards aren't stopping the ball at the perimeter. They aren't defending the rim in the post. There are breakdowns in communication and help defense. It's a mess and it's costing them games. Surely Stevens will know about this weakness and the Celtics will try to exploit it.
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