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GameDay: Wizards at Celtics – Turning tides

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Wizards (43-38) at Celtics (25-56)

April 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM
TD Garden, Boston, MA
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan

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Projected starting lineups:

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C- Marcin Gortat
PF- Trevor Booker
SF- Trevor Ariza
SG- Bradley Beal
PG- John Wall

celts

C- Kelly Olynyk
PF- Brandon Bass
SF- Jeff Green
SG- Avery Bradley
PG- Phil Pressey

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Last time they met was..

April 2, 2014 @ Verizon Center

Euphoria prompted by a long anticipated postseason berth, prompting celebratory courtside towel waves. That, promptly, was the scene at the Verizon Center in the winding minutes of the last game between the Wizards and Celtics. A 118-92 debacle of the Celtics propelled the Wizards to what will be their first playoff appearance in six seasons.

Key figures from that game:

The Wizards shot 62.5% from the field. Besides Drew Gooden (1-5) and Snakey (0-1), every Wizards player shot the ball at least 50% from the field. Bradley Beal in particular was HOT, going 7-8 from the field with buckets coming from all over.

50 points in the paint. 21 points in transition. Gunz & buttah. Aside from Jared Sullinger, the Wiz were able to dominate the Celtics pretty much on both ends of the floor in the paint. The Celtics are one of the worst rebounding teams in the league and the Wizards exploited their weakness by crashing the glass (outrebounding Boston 41-29) and getting plenty transition buckets as result.

Celtics 3-for-24 from 3-PT. Yeah. They were awful from deep. Jeff Green and Rajon Rondo combined to go 0-for-9 and Kelly Olynyk, who for some striking reason LOVES the camping out on the perimeter, went 0-3. Meanwhile, the Wiz Kids drained 10 of 19 from downtown, with Ariza leading the way with three of his own.

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Oh how the tides have turned, Beantown.

When comparing the Wizards and Celtics over the past five seasons, it’s pretty evident how gravely they offset one another. Since 2008-09, the first of five consecutive seasons where they missed the playoffs, the Wizards accumulated only 117 total victories for a winning percentage of just .296. Conversely, the Celtics since 2008-09 won 63% of their games not including this season and never missed the playoffs and also went to the Finals.

Typically when you see a #WizCeltics matchup slated on the last day of the regular season, the instinctive thought is the Celtics are probably coasting into the postseason while the Wizards plan to experiment with bench dwellers to continue strategizing their future. However, today I’m pleased to present those ideas and notions as an element of NBA history. Today, we find both teams dressed up as the other, in historic form, of course as the Wizards play for a chance to either solidify the 6th seed or even move up to 5 if Brooklyn loses. Now certainly the Wizards of 2014 aren’t even a fraction of what the Celtics had become over the past half-dozen years, but when it comes to the Celtics specifically, well, the once superpower of the league find themselves in a position we here in DC are far too familiar with.

Tonight, win or lose for the Wizards, we will celebrate the tables turning on two franchises headed in two, completely opposite directions. While the Wizards are on the uprise with two promising studs steering the way, the Celtics will soon be on a journey to find their own studs who’ll be making promises to them. They also have Kelly Olynyk, so there’s a head start.

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#LeaguePassAlert

Let’s face it. The matchups in the West destroy the East. But unpredictability of the #3-4-5-6-7 seeds in the East is nothing but a clusterfuck game of musical chairs and frankly, it’s going to be awesome to watch how it unfolds by the end of tonight.

The Wizards currently hold the #6 spot in the East, one game ahead of Charlotte; one game behind Brooklyn. The Bobcats own the tiebreaker over the Wizards so a Wizards loss/Charlotte win would shift the Bobcats ahead of the Wiz, forcing the Wizards down to the 7 seed.

The Wizards, however, own the tiebreaker over the Nets so a Wizards win/Brooklyn loss would propel them to the 5th seed. So that squares away that.

Then comes the topic of matchups. The Wizards at the 6th spot would face the #3 team in the East, currently the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors own the tiebreaker over the Bulls so the only way the Bulls move up to #3 is a win over the Bobcats tonight and Toronto losing to New York. Then the Wizards would play the Bulls. If the Wizards move up to 5th, they’ll still face either Chicago or Toronto since one of the two will finish 4th.

The only way the Wizards don’t face Toronto or Chicago is if they drop to 7th, which will doom them with a first-round matchup against the Heat.

we are Hoop District

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