#704 Boston Celticsvs.#703 Washington Wizards
Wednesday, January 1 2017, at 8:05pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala
Washington Wizards (18-18 SU, 19-17 ATS, 23-13 O/U) vs. Boston Celtics (23-14 SU, 20-15-2 ATS, 20-17 O/U)
NBA: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, 8 pm ET
Line: Boston-5.5; Over/Under: 216.5
It’s a battle of Eastern Conference foes playing the second game of a back to back here. The Washington Wizards head to the northeast as they take on the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. Washington was at home Tuesday night as they hosted the Bulls. Boston was on the road as they faced the Raptors in an Atlantic Division showdown. The Celtics hold a 185-110 edge in the all-time regular season series. The Wizards won the first matchup this season, taking a 118-93 romp at home on November 9, 2016.
Washington was in action against the Bulls trying to climb the ladder in the Eastern Conference standings. The Wizards entered Tuesday’s game in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, 10 games behind the Cavaliers for the top spot. Washington trailed the Hawks by just 2.5 games in the Southeast Division. The good news was that the Wizards are just one game out of fifth in the East but they were also tied for ninth in the conference standings. Washington is just 4-13 on the road and 13-11 against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Wizards are 14th in the league in scoring offense with 105.4 points per game. Washington is 27th in the league on the glass with 41.9 boards per game. The Wizards stand 9th with 22.9 assists per game. Washington is 22nd in the league as they allow 106 points per game on the year. John Wall leads the team with 23.1 points, 10.1 assists and 2.26 steals per game. Bradley Beal averages 22.3 points a game while Otto Porter Jr. (14.1 points, 6.6 boards) is developing into what the Wizards hoped for when they drafted him. Markieff Morris (13.1 points, six rebounds) and Marcin Gortat (11.6 points, 11.9 rebounds) are other Washington players scoring in double figures. Marcus Thornton, Andrew Nicholson, Trey Burke and Kelly Oubre Jr. are looked at to contribute off the pine. Washington is 4th in field goal percentage as the team shoots a collective 47.1 percent from the floor. The Wizards are 26th in the league with 8.2 triples a night while ranking 14th in three point shooting. Washington hits 35.6 percent from downtown.
Boston was in action north of the border against Toronto with the top spot in the Atlantic Division up for grabs. The Celtics entered Tuesday third in the Eastern Conference, 5.5 games behind the Cavaliers for the top spot. Boston was just one game behind the Raptors in the Atlantic Division but stood just 4.5 games ahead of ninth place Milwaukee. The Celtics are 11-6 at home this season. Boston entered Tuesday with a sparkling 6-1 record against Atlantic Division foes and has recorded a 16-6 record against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Celtics come into this contest 9th in the league in scoring offense with 106.8 points per game. Boston is 28th in the league in rebounding with 41.2 boards per game but stand 3rd with 25.2 assists per contest. Boston is average on the defensive end: they currently stand 15th in scoring defense, allowing 104.4 points per game. Isaiah Thomas leads the Celtics with 28 points plus 6.1 assists per game. Jae Crowder chips in 12.7 points plus 4.9 boards a contest. Avery Bradley puts up 18 points, seven rebounds and 2.4 assists a night. Al Horford has averaged 15.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and five assists per game. Marcus Smart chips in 10 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per contest. Tyler Zeller, Jaylen Brown, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier and Gerald Green are key pieces in the rotation. Boston is tied for 15th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 45.1 percent from the floor. The Celtics are 3rd in three pointers per game with 11.8 while the team is 7th in three point percentage as they hit 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Both teams are playing their second game in as many cities in as many nights here. That throws any potential advantage out the window. This one may simply come down to venue: the Wizards pasted Boston earlier this season but that one came in the nation’s capital. Washington has gone just 4-13 as the visiting team this season. Boston is no pushover at home and they hope to get Bradley back in the rotation. The Celtics are a little deeper than the Wizards: playing at home pushes them to the victory.
When you get a pair of teams that like to put points on the board, it’s normally a nod to the over coming in when the contest is all said and done. However, you have to take the time to look a little deeper than that in this one. Boston is banged up and missing key personnel: they hope to have Bradley back for this one but it’s a question mark at this point. Washington is dealing with their own rotation woes as they have to develop capable scoring threats from their bench group.
While these teams have been over machines in recent games, the fact that they are playing the second game of a back to back is a concern. Both teams will be flying into Boston after their games Tuesday night come to a close, meaning it will be late Tuesday night or early Wednesday as a best case scenario for when these teams get settled. Based on that, it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see the number come under the total either.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.