The Wizards (21-57) are down to their final four games of the season, starting with a matchup against the Celtics tonight in Boston. The Celtics (54-24) are currently sitting in the two-spot behind the Chicago Bulls for playoff positioning.
The Celtics will be coming off a back-to-back, and won’t be in a good mood after getting drilled by the Bulls in Chicago on Thursday, 97-81.
MVP frontrunner Derrick Rose torched the Celtics for 30 points and went 10 of 10 from the free throw line. The Celtics also got pounded on the glass, as the Bulls out-rebounded them, 44-35.
The Celtics are a meager 5-5 in their last 10 games with four games left in their schedule; they play the playoff-bound Knicks and Heat, and will play twice against the Wizards. The Celtics should be looking to put the Wizards away early.
The Wizards final four games – two against the Celtics, one against the Hawks, and the final game against the Cavaliers on the road don’t offer much hope for the Wizards to improve their final record.
The final game of the season against Cleveland could bring a W, but the two Boston games and the Atlanta game could be real struggles for the Wizards.
The season series between the two teams is tied at 1-1, with the Wizards winning the most recent matchup, 85-83 in January at Verizon Center.
Jordan Crawford and Andray Blatche have been playing particularly well for the Wizards of late - Blatche is averaging 27.5 points and 14 rebounds in his last four games, and has scored at least 23 points and 10 rebounds in four straight games for the first time in his career.
Crawford is averaging 25.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his last six games, and has totals of 17.1 points, 3.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds since joining the Wizards in February; 14 of them as a starter.
But regardless of the record, Wizards coach Flip Saunders has been pleased with how the team has competed over these past couple of weeks, perhaps not including Wednesday’s game against the Pacers, and is very clear where that competitive message has come from.
“It’s the message that’s been sent from above, from Ted [owner Ted Leonsis]. That no matter what, you have 82 games to play, you’re going to play all 82, and it’s a learning process,” Saunders said.
The Wizards and Celtics tipoff from the TD Garden tonight at 7:30.