Game Preview: Wizards vs. Celtics
Saturday's Hot Player: Jordan Crawford
Last season, the Celtics beat the Wizards in all four contests the two teams played. However, both teams have made adjustments to their 2012-13 roster and the Wizards will have an enthused crowd behind them as they open the Verizon Center for the first time this year.
The Wizards will likely be starting four players that were not even on the team last season (A. Price, B. Beal, T. Ariza, E. Okafor), while the Celtics will likely have one new starter, (C. Lee) but a brand new bench. They added Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa through free agency, Jared Sullinger via the draft, and got Jeff Green back from injury.
Both these teams have a lot of depth and the winner of this game could be whose bench outperforms the other. It was the Wizards second unit who led the fourth quarter comeback on Tuesday, and they will likely need another stellar effort from that group to get a W against one of the powerhouses of the Eastern Conference.
The action kicks off at 7pm on CSN or listen live on 106.7 FM/1500 AM.
Kevin Garnett has spent much of his career playing the power-forward position, but now has shifted into the center spot, while the Celtics use a smaller and quicker lineup. This means he will see a lot of Emeka Okafor on the low post which should be a marquee matchup to watch. Okafor recorded four blocks in Tuesday night's vs. Cleveland, but the Cavs won the rebounding battle by 15. The Wizards will need Okafor to hold his ground vs. Garnett and keep him off the glass in order for the team to be successful.
In the below clip from last season, Kevin Garnett is playing the PF spot while Emeka Okafor defends the Celtics' center Jermaine O'Neal. Okafor slides over as the help defender and sends away Garnett's attempt.
The Wizards players and coaches talk after practice about playing against a player like Garnett
Celtics Projected Starters
G - Rajon Rondo | 6-1 | 186 lbs
PPG: 17.0 | RPG: 5.5 | APG: 12.0
G- Courtney Lee | 6-5 | 200 lbs
PPG: 9.0 | RPG: 1.5 | APG: 1.0
F- Paul Pierce | 6-7 | 235 lbs
PPG: 17.0 | RPG: 5.5 | APG: 3.5
F- Brandon Bass | 6-8 | 250 lbs
PPG: 12.5 | RPG: 8.5 | APG: 2.0
C- Kevin Garnett | 6-11 | 253 lbs
PPG: 12.0 | RPG: 8.0 | APG: 1.0
Wizards Projected Starters
G - A.J. Price | 6-2 | 185 lbs
PPG: 7.0 | RPG: 2.0 | APG: 6.0
G- Bradley Beal | 6-5 | 207 lbs
PPG: 8.0 | RPG: 3.0 | APG: 3.0
F- Trevor Ariza | 6-8 | 200 lbs
PPG: 9.0 | RPG: 3.0 | APG: 4.0
F- Trevor Booker | 6-11 | 240 lbs
PPG: 4.0 | RPG: 1.0 | APG: 1.0
C- Emeka Okafor | 6-10 | 255 lbs
PPG: 10.0 | RPG: 7.0 | APG: 0.0
Wizards Injury Report
- John Wall (knee)
- Nene (foot)
- Kevin Seraphin (calf)
- Avery Bradley (shoulder)