Game On: Wizards fall short of Gortat's prediction

Game On: Wizards fall short of Gortat's prediction
April 16, 2014, 1:30 pm
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(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

OK, the Wizards will fall short of Marcin Gortat's early-season prediction of 50 wins. He may have went overboard when he said that -- the Wizards had gone from 2-7 to 9-9 despite injuries to Bradley Beal and rookie Otto Porter -- but he won't be far off if they win Wednesday's game at the Boston Celtics. 

The Wizards are in position to put the finishing touches on their longest winning streak in more than a month at four games. They've been saying for more than a week that momentum means more than playoff seeding. They'll be just six wins short of Gortat's prediction. 

"We want to win the game," said Gortat, noting that the Wizards have had enough letdowns against losing teams this season to keep them alert. "We want to build the habits, winning habits. We want to build the right style of playing."

That means Nene, who has been coming off the bench since returning from his left knee injury, so more time to work back into shape; Beal, Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster stringing together solid shooting performances again after slumping recently; John Wall working on that floater in the lane; Al Harrington continuing to round into top form after dealing with a right knee injury all season; and Gortat himself finishing stronger at the rim. 

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A byproduct of winning tonight is securing the No. 6 seed and possibly moving up to fifth if the Brooklyn Nets lose again.

"We want to go into playoffs with a winning (streak) with the mental preparation," said Gortat, who came to Washington via trade with the Phoenix Suns just five days before the season began. "I was hoping we were going to be in playoffs. We are in playoffs. Now we're going to make a run."

TV: The pregame show Wizards Central is on CSN at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tipoff from TD Garden is 8 and Wizards Postgame Live immediately follows the conclusion. Radio: 106.7 FM. 1500 AM. 

Last game: Wizards (43-38) beat Miami Heat 114-93 on Monday; Celtics (25-56) lost at Philadelphia 76ers 113-108 on Friday.

Last meeting: Washington won 118-92 at home on April 2 to officially clinch a playoff berth after six players scored in double figures. Season series: Washington leads 2-1.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards –- PG John Wall, SG Bradley Beal, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Trevor Booker, C Marcin Gortat. Celtics –- PG Rajon Rondo, SG Avery Bradley, SF Jeff Green, PF Brandon Bass, C Kelly Olynyk.

X-factors: C Jared Sullinger (left ankle) likely won't play and Rondo (left shin) recently returned though it's unclear if he'll play or log heavy minutes. … PF Nene will play but insisted the team keep his minutes to less than 20. 

Around the bend: The Wizards will return to D.C. after the game and practice Thursday and prepare for their first-round opponent for the playoffs. They'll open Game 1 over the weekend. The NBA has yet to release the schedule.