It's hard to develop a healthy case of amnesia when you've just done something for the umpteenth time. In the Boston Celtics' last visit here, they left the Wizards questioning themselves when they lost in overtime to a team without their starting backcourt and an undrafted rookie in Phil Pressey, who averages 2.5 points, setting a career high that he hasn't come close to matching.
Going into Wednesday's game, the Wizards (38-36) are trying to get up for them again. This time, they're coming off wasting a 16-point lead at the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday and a playoff race that's tightening.
"You don't bring that up," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said when asked about that 113-111 loss on Jan. 22. "We did it (Monday) night at certain points of taking a step back. Tomorrow is a new day. Let's learn. That's all you can do."
The litany of losses, and close games that the Wizards have won that needn't be close, can be attributed to loss of focus.
"Sometimes you look at the scoreboard, 'I can take a break here now,'" Wittman said. "A sigh of relief instead of the other way. You've got to make 16, 26. Its ballgame. Sometimes we take a break here and there, take a shortcut here and there and all of a sudden 16 is 6. It's a ballgame. If 16 is 26, it's different. We've got to remain in tune to the game."
John Wall shouldn't have a problem finding motivation. In that last meeting with the Celtics, he took a season-high 29 shots, making only nine of them. He posted an empty triple-double. Had six turnovers. And Pressey buried a clutch three-point shot with 53 seconds left. Pressey shoots 27% from long range.
Rajon Rondo, who rested in a 94-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls, didn't play because he'd just returned from ACL reconstruction of his right knee and the game in Washington was the second of a back-to-back. So was the game vs. Chicago. Rondo should be on the court Wednesday.
Avery Bradley, who didn't start a shooting guard in January in Washington, left Monday's game because of what he called tendinitis in his right Achilles. His status isn't clear.