Wizards wrap up seeding schedule, season Thursday against Boston
The Wizards close out their eight-game seeding schedule and 2019-20 season on Thursday at Noon, taking on the Celtics at The Arena in Orlando. Coming off a Tuesday loss to Milwaukee, Washington is looking to earn its first win of the seeding period.
Rui Hachimura (right quad soreness) will not play.
The Arena | 12:00 P.M. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Troy Brown Jr., G – Jerome Robinson., F – Isaac Bonga, F – Johnathan Williams, C – Thomas Bryant
Celtics: G – Brad Wanamaker, G – Romeo Langford, F – Semi Ojeleye, F – Grant Williams, C – Enes Kanter
Wizards: Rui Hachimura (right quad soreness – out), Garrison Mathews (personal reasons – out), Shabazz Napier (right ankle sprain – out)
Celtics: Jaylen Brown (rest – out), Gordon Hayward (rest – out), Marcus Smart (rest – out), Jayson Tatum (left ankle sprain – out), Daniel Theis (right foot soreness – out), Kemba Walker (left knee rehab – out)
One more opportunity for development, growth
All throughout the restart process, dating back to players reporting to D.C. for individual workouts, “opportunity” has been the buzzword among the group. With key players missing and a rotation shuffle imminent going into next season, the resumption of the season was a chance for players to step into larger roles and prove what they could do. Thursday’s game against Boston will be the last opportunity for Wizards players to show what they can bring before next season.
Thomas Bryant has been a force in the frontcourt every night, recording three double-doubles, including a 30-point game against Brooklyn. Troy Brown Jr. has assumed more playmaking responsibilities, recording four-plus assists in five of seven games so far – even starting at point guard Tuesday against Milwaukee.
“We’re going to compete,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re still going to battle. We’re going to finish strong. We’d love to get a win. These guys deserve it – we’ve worked hard for 40 days. We haven’t been rewarded with wins, but we have been rewarded with a lot of great experiences – not only on the basketball court. A lot of individual, a lot of team growth. Off the court, we’ve had a good time of really getting to know one another and getting to bond with one another and learn about each other during some tough times in the world right now. We’ve had some great conversations. But we still want to get something accomplished.”
Everyone getting involved with Wizards’ offense
Through seven seeding games, the Wizards have let a number of players take control of the offense, including established point guards Ish Smith and Shabazz Napier, young wings Troy Brown Jr. and Jerome Robinson – and even less likely names like Rui Hachimura. Smith leads the team with 5.9 assists per game in seven seeding games. Troy Brown Jr. ranks second with 4.7 per game and Robinson, who has set career highs in assists in each of the last two games, averages 3.0 per game. Hachimura has also set a single-game career high in assists during the seeding period, dishing out six against Indiana. All in all, the Wizards have totaled at least 22 assists in five of their seven seeding game so far, including 30 against the Pacers on August 3.
Wizards facing a shorthanded Celtics squad
On Thursday, the Celtics team that will take the court will be without some of its most notable rotation pieces. Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis and Kemba Walker – the team’s top-six leaders in minutes and points per game – will not play. Instead, Boston will lean on its younger reserves, led by Brad Wanamaker, Romeo Langford, Robert Williams III, Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye – and veteran center Enes Kanter, who is coming off an 11-point, eight-rebound game Tuesday against the Grizzlies.