The Washington Times - April 11, 2011, 01:26PM

The Wizards (22-58) play their final home game of the season tonight at Verizon Center against a Celtics team that will finish either 2nd or 3rd in the Eastern Conference, but is playing far from their best basketball right now.

The Celtics (55-25) are just .500 in their last 10 games, and are coming off a blowout loss to the Miami Heat, 100-77 on Sunday.


With the playoffs set to begin in less than a week, it could be that the Celtics are simply taking their collective feet off the gas pedals, but the team has not looked good in recent weeks, giving rise to the speculation that the age of their stars might make this their last serious playoff run before they need to begin a rebuild of their own.

Point guard Rajon Rondo is just 25, but the Celtics Big Three of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are all in their early to mid-thirties and clearly want to take a serious run at another title.

Tonight’s contest will be the second meeting in five days between the Wizards and Celtics. In the last outing, the Celtics beat the Wizards 104-88 in Boston.

But while the Wizards are using this time to evaluate their players for next season and are developing better on-court chemistry, the Celtics appear to be losing some of theirs.

“We’ve got to come out with a great amount of aggression,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders said.

“It’s interesting. A lot of people talk about how chemistry is so important; a lot of people have questioned with [Kendrick] Perkins being traded if it’s hurt their chemistry a little bit. But you look at us and we’ve kind of gone the other way. Our chemistry right now is probably as good as it’s been all season,” Saunders said.

The Wizards will play their final game of the season against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Wednesday.

Wizards vs. Celtics: tip off tonight at 7 in the home finale at Verizon Center.