The Wizards (33-42) are back home after a short trip to Toronto and are ready to host the Celtics (52-23), who have won seven of their last nine games, including three straight. Here's everything you need to know.
WHERE: Capital One Arena (Washington, D.C.)
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
RADIO: The Team 980 & The Wizards App
Bradley Beal (left knee soreness -- out)
Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain -- out)
Monte Morris (left groin soreness -- available)
Daniel Gafford (left foot soreness -- out)
Jaylen Brown (facial fracture; face mask -- available)
Danilo Gallinari (left knee; ACL repair -- out)
Payton Pritchard (left heel pain -- probable)
OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma have been sidelined with their injuries for the last three and four games, respectively. Without two of the Wizards' Big 3, it's been tough for the team to find a consistent groove on offense. If you're looking for a silver lining, though, any time there are injuries, it forces other guys to step up. In this case, the Wizards' young players have been getting extended run which is great for their individual development. For example, Johnny Davis is coming off a career night in Toronto where he scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field in 30 minutes of action.
Deni Avdija and Corey Kispert are two guys who have been trusted with more offensive responsibilities as of late. Avdija is handling the ball more, operating in pick-and-roll actions, and is being relied on to create off the dribble in the halfcourt. Kispert is shooting more than ever, both off the dribble and off spot-ups, as the Wizards search for offense. Here are their numbers over the last four games.
- Avdija: 16.8 points (64.3% FG, 50% 3FG), 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists
- Kispert: 15.8 points (46.9% FG, 40.6% 3FG), 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists
With Beal and Kuzma out for Tuesday's game against the Celtics, keep an eye on the increased opportunities for Davis, Avdija, and Kispert, among others.
KRISTAPS PORZINGIS STEADYING THE SHIP
A big reason why the young guys have been able to expand their games recently is Kristaps Porzingis' presence on the court. With no Beal or Kuzma, he's the guy that keeps things steady on offense. He's the guy the ball flows through.
He's been handling those responsibilities wonderfully. Over the last four games, Porzingis has averaged 26 points on .582/.500/.941 shooting splits to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
The Celtics are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, so Porzingis' ability to power the Wizards' offense will be pivotal.
Any time you play the Celtics, there are two main guys you have to keep an eye on: Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Tatum and Brown are two of the best wings in the league, and together, they offer a relentless two-way attack that's nearly impossible to guard. Both guys can play on or off the ball, get to the rim, score from the midrange, extend beyond the 3-point line, and create shots for their teammates.
On the season, Tatum is averaging 30.1 points per game on 46% shooting from the field to go along with 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Brown isn't far behind him, averaging 27 points per game on 49.4% shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds and 3.4 assists.
Both Tatum and Brown are prime candidates for one of the All-NBA teams. Limiting their impact will be vital for the Wizards on Tuesday night in Washington.