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Wizards vs. Celtics Pregame: A Funeral On F Street?

Regular Season Game 45

Celtics (26-17) at Wizards (24-20)

January 24, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Verizon Center | Washington, DC
TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic
Radio: 1500 AM


Last time they met was..

January 11, 2017- TD Garden, Boston: Celtics 117, Wizards 108

When these teams last met, a scuffle broke out at the final horn. Jae Crowder pointed his right finger at John Wall and it ended up touching his nose. Wall swung at Crowder and benches cleared to separate them. Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier tried to get in on the action as much as they could but were mostly held back. Crowder and Kelly Oubre were also grabbing each other. It should be an entertaining game tonight.


What to watch:

More bad blood.

John Wall and company haven’t forgotten about the incident and will be ready for this big battle tonight. After the scuffle in their last meeting J. Michael, Wizards insider with CSN, heard Isaiah Thomas walk by shouting, “they can’t f*ck with a real killer.” You can take that however you want. There were even five Boston police officers standing in between the two locker rooms. That’s when you know.

This wasn’t the first time either, these teams have had plenty of history…

There was this last season after John Wall blocked Jae Crowder.

Then there was this during the team’s first meeting this season back in November. Wall was ejected from the game after this flagrant foul on Marcus Smart.

After a win Monday night in Charlotte, the Wizards immediately turned their focus to tonight’s showdown in Chinatown. The players plan on coming into the arena dressed in all black, an idea started by Bradley Beal.

“We’re wearing all black to the game,” stated Kelly Oubre. “So you know where we’re going with that. It’s a memo that the team is giving away. We’re ready for whatever, man. Round three, let’s get it.”

“All black everything,” added Wall.

“We’ve been battle-tested. We’re ready and we owe them one,” Beal said.


Key Matchup:

John Wall vs. Isaiah Thomas

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No rivalry game is complete without one big face on each side leading their respective teams. John Wall of the Wizards and Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics have each been in the discussion for MVP. In their meeting two weeks ago, Wall had one of his worst games shooting as he shot 4-for-21 with nine points while Thomas finished with 38. Thomas has scored over 30 points in four of his last five games, including 41 on Saturday against Portland. Thomas also leads the NBA in fourth quarter points and scored 20 of his 38 points in the final frame during their last meeting. That game was in Boston and for tonight’s game in Washington, Wall will have his fans behind him, so he wants to get on the better end of those numbers especially if the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter.


X-Factor:

You, the Wizards fan.

As if the stakes can’t get any higher, tonight the Wizards are going for their 14th consecutive win at home. Their win over the Grizzlies last Wednesday marked an NBA-best 13-game home winning streak and is their fourth longest home winning streak in team history. That’s where you come in, Wizards faithful. There will be plenty of high emotions on the court but off the court, the Wizards need you to get behind them and give them a boost. With a team like Boston coming into town, there’s sure to be plenty of green in the stands. You gotta drown them out with your cheering and you can do it. You guys are part of the reason why the Wizards haven’t lost at home since early December. Continue to be loud and create a good home court advantage. Tonight’s atmosphere could be a good dress rehearsal for the playoffs.


Fun Factor:

It may only be January but this game will have a playoff feel to it. The numbers show it too. The Celtics are third in the Eastern Conference while the Wizards are sitting in fifth place. A win tonight would put the Wizards just 1.0 games behind the Hawks for fourth place and first in the Southeast Division, and just 1.5 games behind the Celtics.


Prediction:

There will be hard fouls, tempers may be flaring but hopefully nobody on either side gets hurt. The Wizards will get revenge from two weeks ago and get a big win. John Wall will go off, Otto Porter will drain more threes, Marcin Gortat will get some highlight reel dunks, and fans will get their money’s worth from this battle.

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