Eager for the Thursday NBA action between Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics? Check out this article for in-depth previews and prediction and hype up to the game.
This Thursday matinee will be where Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics lock horns in a game played purely for the record. The Wizards and the Celtics are officially wrapping up the 2020 season in their final game as they meet Thursday in ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Kissimmee. Differences in power might be evident, but the results of the game prove to be incredibly tough to predict.
Washington Wizards versus Boston Celtics
Expect the outcome of the upcoming matchup to be particularly difficult for even guessing.
The Wizards have been in a terrible season, as they are experiencing a winless Restart. Washington has been blown off for seven games straight, with five of which being double-digit falls. For that disappointing performance, the team is already assured of waving the postseason goodbye for 2 consecutive seasons. The game is purely for the record, but that, however, might be exactly why they would look to soar and shake off the pathetic reputation before the season ends.
The Celtics, meanwhile, secured a position in the playoffs, as they locked into the East’s No. 3 seed. For this one final tune-up before the launch of the postseason, it’s interesting to see how Boston will choose to play. Their team spirits are high, that’s without doubt, as the team’s currently on a four-game win streak after knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. But they also need to focus on the top criteria: keep all their stars healthy for the playoffs. Will Boston Celtics opt for an overkill of one more win, or will they take this as the chance for the team to steam off? Still highly doubtable.
Wizards Hope To Avoid Winless Restart
The 2019-2020 season has been particularly harsh with the Washington Wizards. Since the restart, the Wizards (24-47), playing without the guard tandem John Wall and Bradley Beal, have lost seven straight, including five with a lead of 11 or more. This Thursday, however, might be their chance to soar from the ashes and take an eighth crack at a first win in the restart.
They simply are not allowed to falter: an eighth consecutive loss would mean they wrap up the campaign with a .333 winning percentage – the franchise’s worst since .303 in the 2011-12 season. Say everything you will about this win would be “just for the record”, but reputation is absolutely in need in competitive basketball, and no one feels good having a winless Restart.
The Wizards can apparently hope for an opportunity this Thursday as they will face a winded-down Celtics. However, that would only be in order if their defense players step up their game. A lack of reliable defense has been the core problem of the Wizards during the season. Boston only ranks a humble 29th in the league in defensive efficiency with opponents averaging 119.5 points per game against them. To make the matter worse, Washington is entering this game without star Bradley Beal, and that seems to put their offense end in a very unfavourable position against an inarguably league-leading defense of the Celtics. The result of this game would pretty much depend on the clutch performances of Washington’s young lineup, but they are with high hopes and who knows what they can accomplish with such desperation for a win?
Decisions on Celtics’ hands
Celtics fans have a reason to hold their breaths: How this Thursday game ends largely depends on the decision of head coach Brad Stevens. On the one hand, Stevens has to stick to the team’s paramount objective at the moment: Keep the stars healthy for the upcoming playoffs. But Boston is fresh off a 4-0 rampage in their last four games. Is it worth potentially ruining the blazing trail?
That is not at all an overstatement – for a full power Celtics, the underwhelming Wizards will be a complete mismatch.
Being a serious title contender this season, Celtics have made sure they stay red-hot. The team’s riding on a four-game winning streak and averaging 122.0 points in their last three outings. They are making really wide strides towards the NBA title this season and exert the dominance of a serious contender as they go.
Yet, for one more time: The goal Thursday: Keep all players – especially the star tandem of forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown – in their best conditions.
it would be downright disastrous if one of the stars got injured in a rather less meaningful game. Therefore, it is expected that the team will err on the more cautious side and rest their starters. As of now, Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward are expected to stay on the bench.
However, favour will still be on the side of Boston Celtics if they go down that way. They have a deep bench led by Marcus Smart and Brad Wannamaker. Their bench players will be playing significant minutes in this game and deal some trouble to the traumatizing Washington Wizards to keep the team hot for the playoff.
- 15-5-1 ATS in the last 21 home games against Wizards
- 8-2 in their last 10 games vs. Washington Wizards
- 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings
- 8-2 in the last 10 matchups against Boston Celtics
Predictions: Celtics Power Through
Fans have to take into account the aspirations of the Wizards for a final flourish this Thursday. A watered-down Celtics who are looking at a more ambitious goal will open the doors for Washington Wizard to their first win since the Restart. However, the likelihoods are that the serious championship contenders, Boston Celtics, will outplay their opponent in this last tune-up before their real race. The Celtics are simply in shapes too great for Washington to beat. It is still doubtful whether they will go in for an overkill by throwing in their starters; however, a Boston Celtics with a burning desire for championship is not something an underwhelming Wizards with an inexperienced defense could suppress.